It is an honor to be selected to the U.S. Army All American Bowl Game as a high senior that only a few will ever be able to get. The only fortunate prospect in the state of Tennessee to achieve this honor is Memphis-Briarcrest big man Austin Long. Unfortunately for Long he will only get to participate as a spectator due to an injury.
Long, a long time Georgia Bulldog commitment, said of his back injury, "I hurt it during summer lifting and I played through it during the season." He added, "After a while it started hurting really bad after working out for two or three weeks for the Army game, so I went to the doctor."
Bulldog fans need not worry about Long's injury as he explained, "After a couple of x rays it was determined I had a slight fracture on my L5 and they put me in a brace. I have to wear the brace for a month and I will start physical therapy and then I will be fine."
As for the reaction of the Georgia coaching staff he reported, "They were concerned, but it's not a career ending injury. They just want me to take it easy and get better."
After a successful senior season, in which Long's team made the playoffs for the first time in four years, he had hoped to cap things off with a solid performance in the Army All American Bowl. Long commented, "I was really upset. I still get to go and will still be on the East team." He went on to say, "I really wanted to play, but it's kind of a let down."
Long, who leaves on Friday for San Antonio, hopes to help the Bulldog recruiting effort on his trip. He commented that fellow commitments Aaron Murray and Chris Burnette are already helping the effort. Long explained, "They are already working on it right now. Aaron and Chris are working on some guys right now and I am going to try to work on some guys when I get there too."
San Antonio is not the only place the Bulldog commitments have been recruiting especially for Long, who has been working on fellow Memphis player and five star wide out Marlon Brown from Memphis-Harding Academy. He said of Brown, "I have not talked to him in about a week. I probably need to call him and see how he is doing." Long went on to comment of Brown's last visit to Athens, "He visited the 16th I think. He went down there and hung out on an unofficial. I think we have a pretty good chance."
For Long, who is one of the top tackle prospects in the country, the recruiting has slowed down since his commitment. Since most coaches know he is solid in his commitment he reports very little interest, but he did comment, "When they first could take home visits Ole Miss asked if they could come and I told them I was solid with Georgia and I did not want them to waste their time."
The Bulldogs have remained strong in their efforts to recruit Long. He explained, "They are after me like I haven't been committed so it's still pretty cool."
The U.S. Army All American experience should be a positive experience for Long. He has really embraced the spirit of the game as he explained, "I hope to get to meet some of the people in the Army. I am excited to be on the sidelines and be a part of it. It is an honor." He added, "I can't wait to get down there and be a part of the game. It should be a good game."