It was just before the break in the afternoon session of the Mark Richt Camp Super Saturday, and Long was in deep thought just as I was walking up.
“It’s make or break for Hunter isn’t it,” I asked him.
“I think so,” the elder Long replied.
We were talking about if Long’s youngest son, Hunter, would get an offer from the Georgia coaching staff to play football in college with his oldest son Austin Long. Probably since they were small children – were Hunter and Austin Long ever small? – Tim had hoped his two kids would have the chance to play with one another in college.
See, the Tim Long wasn’t recruited by the school he grew up pulling for, Tennessee, so he knew the difficult side of recruiting. He went on to play four years at Memphis and then had his time in the NFL. He proved the Vols wrong, but that didn’t do him any good that Saturday afternoon.
“Its up to him,” Long said of his son Hunter. “I can’t really tell what’s going to happen, either.”
As it turns out Georgia liked what they saw, and offered Hunter Long a scholarship, which he committed to on the spot.
The dream has come true for the Longs – both children playing at the same college. But Hunter Long has had to fight his way to a scholarship spot at Georgia.
The younger Long doesn’t have the obvious length of his older brother, who projects to be a starting offensive tackle at Georgia when Clint Boling and Trinton Sturdivant end their time in Athens. Guards, it seems, are a dime a dozen in the SEC. Many of them never contribute, and it seems like a spot, because there are so many of them, where it is tremendously competitive to acquire a scholarship to a Georgia-level school.
His brother’s time at Georgia has also been pushing against Hunter in a different way – recruiters at other schools simply didn’t pay as much attention to recruiting Hunter because they just assumed Georgia was the place he would end up.
The problem is that, until today, Hunter didn’t have the ability to go to Georgia as a scholarship player. Therefore, he and his family were trying to make clear how they wanted to be recruited… but other programs didn’t bother because of what they felt like was the inevitable.
But getting to the inevitable is not always fun. You see, Tim Long didn’t know his sons’ fate that night… offensive line coach Stacy Searles probably didn’t either. But after the film showed that Hunter Long belonged at Georgia the offer was made.
Now the Longs can rest easy knowing they won’t have to pull impossible doubleheader duties that involve games in Athens and some other SEC destination on the same day. Now the Longs only have to travel where the silver britches play.