While it may be hard to throw out the name of the last Division One football prospect to come out of Tiffin (Ohio) Calvert High School, it will not be as hard when National Signing Day comes around in February when Tyler Long puts pen to paper.
This summer, Long opened a few eyes earning an offer from Kent State as he looked to remove the quarterback label and become known for his defensive skill set as a safety.
“I camped at Michigan State first and my second camp was Purdue,” said Long. “I ran a 4.53 forty and had a three-cone shuttle of 6.94 and vertical jump of 34 inches at Michigan State. At Purdue, I was just starting to learn more about playing defensive back but ended up doing really well as I ran a 4.56 forty.
“Coach (Taver) Johnson was happy with my performance and said they were going to keep watching me. I wanted to do better, but felt it was a good start.”
It didn’t take long for the small school quarterback to open a few more eyes.
“Two weeks later, I attended a camp at Illinois and did really well in the defensive back drills,” he continued. “Coach (Mike) Ward was happy and said they wanted to keep watching me as I ran a 4.52 forty. They don’t do a broad jump as they do a triple jump and I posted a 30-foot triple jump.
“I talked with Coach (Tim) Beckman a little bit and they want to see some film from my first two games on defense.”
While putting camps aside to take part in a team activity, Long surprised a few onlookers in the process.
“Our team had a seven-on-seven at Notre Dame and we made it to the quarter finals,” he said. “Our team was pumped up because we were at Notre Dame and making it that far with the big teams was great.
“I got a chance to speak with Coach (Brian) Kelly and he said they were happy with my film and that I looked really athletic and felt I could play several positions. He said they wanted to watch some senior film and felt I could be a late recruit for them.
“He also had Coach (Matt) LaFleur talk with me because we had a game right after I spoke with Coach Kelly and he stayed and watched the whole game and talked with me and my parents after it. It’s kind of cool to have Notre Dame looking at me because it’s one of the schools everybody loves around here. It’s the big Catholic school and everybody looks up to Notre Dame.”
More doors may have opened with Long’s final camp of the summer.
“Last Friday, I had a chance to camp at Wake Forest and got a chance to brush up on my skills at defensive back some more,” he said. “I feel it was my best overall camp performance of the summer and everyone was impressed with my performance. I ran a 4.47 forty, 4.22 shuttle and had a vertical jump of 35 inches. I also got a perfect score on their hip flexibility test.
“All the coaches that were there told me what an outstanding job I had done and graduate assistant Coach (Tyler) Santucci was happy with my performance. After camp, I spoke with Coach (Dave) Clawson and he was really impressed and said that I had helped myself with my performance and he was really happy to see me do so well.
“He said he wants to see a couple of games of film from my senior year and see how it pans out. But he did say he would really like me to be at Wake Forest with senior year pending.”
If things go accordingly, Long could see late September or early October open a lot of doors.
“I have such tremendous faith in our team right now,” he stressed. “We’re doing really well and I feel we have a great opportunity this year and senior film will be no problem. Last year I was strictly a quarterback and coach had one package for me at running back. This season I’m going to be doing quarterback, wide receiver, running back and safety.”