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June 16, 2008Rivals250 offensive tackle Austin Long chose Georgia over a host of schools like Alabama, Florida, FSU, and Tennessee earlier this spring. The decision time surprised some, but Long felt it was the right time and the right decision. We traveled up to Memphis (Tenn.) recently get the full story on why one of the top tackles chose to be a Georgia Bulldog.
Long is the big man on campus in more than one way. He attends Briarcrest Christian School, so the student population is only around 600 at the private school. He is a 6-foot-5, 275-pound football player, so he is one of the most popular and biggest physical figures in the school.
Recruiting really hit stride early when Alabama offered Long a scholarship in mid February. Just a couple of days later is when Georgia offered him and that seemed to open up the flood gates.
Within a couple of weeks, he reeled in close to 20 scholarship offers from top programs across the south and then one from UCLA.
After taking visits to many ACC and SEC including two trips to Athens and Tuscaloosa, Long made somewhat of a surprising decision on April 28. That was a Monday and going into the weekend before, he said he was hoping to come out with a top three.
He talked things over with his family, he prayed about it, he talked to a top UGA commitment (Aaron Murray), and he decided to commit to the Bulldogs on that Monday evening.
UGASports broke the news immediately after giving Long time to call each coach to inform them of his decision. You saw what he had to say through our story, but we give you a chance to see and hear Long talk about his decision and more in this exclusive interview.
VIDEO: Long goes in depth about UGA
If you were unable to watch this interview at this time, then here are a few of the quotes from Long.
"I started off with a very good relationship with Coach Searels. After the first time he came to watch me lift weights (January 2008), we talked on the phone a lot."
"I got to go down there for their Junior Day and I got to see their campus and I loved it from the very first time I went down there."
"They (Georgia) is a very prestigious program and Coach Richt is doing something special there. I felt really comfortable when I was down there and it felt like the right place for me."
"Me and my dad talked a while on Friday night and I woke up Saturday morning really feeling like I wanted to commit. He told me to just wait and make sure before you go ahead and commit. We talked about it again on Saturday and Aaron Murray called me Saturday afternoon, and Sunday I just felt like it was time to pull the trigger."
"We (Aaron Murray and Long) talked Saturday and I asked him all kind of questions. He really thought his decision was the right one and I had the same questions that he had and his questions were answered."
"It (commitment) feels good. It is a big load off. It was fun while it lasted, but now I can concentrate on my senior year and try to win a state championship here."
"It (recruiting) got pretty crazy at one time. I had a bunch of people calling from Rivals guys to Scout guys to college coaches. It got pretty crazy, but it was fun at the same time. Not many people get to do it and it is a crazy experience."
"I am a normal teenage kid I guess. I love to hang out with friends, play basketball, hunt, fish, and stay out of trouble."
"It (UGA commitment) has settled in a little bit and I am still as excited as I was when I made the decision. I can't wait to get down there."
NOTES: We will be back in Tennessee at least once this fall to capture exclusive video of Long playing in his senior year. His younger brother Hunter Long is one to watch in the 2011 class as well. Look for Long to be featured in The Hot Seat this summer also.
If you have a question or comment about this feature, or if you are looking for the latest scoop in UGA recruiting, then visit The Vault.