It can’t be easy having the last name of a former NFL star. Well, in some respects, maybe it is. But Chris Long isn’t going to use his last name to get him to the NFL.
Chris is the son of NFL Hall of Fame defensive lineman and current FOX television analyst Howie Long. When Chris was a junior in high school, he committed to the University of Virginia, which was a short drive from his hometown.
After an illness sidelined him for most of his freshman year, Chris started to blossom during his sophomore campaign. In practice, he was often matched up against former Cavalier, and current New York Jets’ offensive tackle, D’Brickashaw Ferguson. Going against one of the nation’s top lineman certainly helped him become a better and more determined player.
While he didn’t tear up the stat sheet, Chris did start every game at defensive end during his sophomore season, and averaged 3.8 tackles per contest.
He started to catch scouts’ eyes during his junior year, where he recorded 57 tackles (12 for loss) and four sacks. He was also voted a team captain and earned second team All-ACC honors.
As a senior in 2007, Chris was selected as a consensus first team All-American, and ranked third in the country with 14 sacks. In December, Chris won the 2007 Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award, which was special to the Long family because Howie played with Hendricks on the Oakland Raiders.
Much like Howie, Chris is well known for his grit and determination on the gridiron. Due to his high-energy play and relentlessness, he’s often compared to former Virginia Cavalier and current Seattle Seahawks’ defensive end Patrick Kerney.
Several media publications have mentioned that Howie has stayed out of his son’s way and always allowed Virginia head football coach Al Groh to teach his son, rather than offering him tips about how he succeeded in the NFL. When Howie showed up at Cavalier practices, he would always go as a spectator and never impeded his son’s success.
It certainly appears that any success Chris earns in the future will be due to his own doing, and not thanks in part to his famous last name. If he’s anything like his father, Chris has a very bright future in the NFL.
Chris was taken by the St. Louis Rams with the second overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.
Long on the Web
Official Virginia Player Bio: Chris Long
The official Web site for the Virginia Cavaliers recaps Long’s yearly accomplishments, as well as lists his stats and collegiate achievements.
Chris Long’s Wikipedia Page
Find an in-depth bio as well as interesting articles about Long at his Wikipedia page.
Chris Long NFL Draft Scout Player Bio
Find out how Long did on all of his pre-draft combine workouts at NFL Draft Scout.
“The Safety, Chris Long, UVA Football”
Check out this highlight clip of Chris Long sacking Maryland’s quarterback for a safety on YouTube.com.
Latest on Long
After heavily considering LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, the Rams selected Long with the second overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.
News and Commentary
Rams make slam-dunk pick in Long?
Discuss the Rams' choice of Chris Long at the Scores Report.
For Chris Long, parental bonds about to be cut
Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today writes how Chris Long will be leaving the shadow of his father, Howie, as he begins his career with the Rams.
Howie Long gives son Chris the room to grow as a player
Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com writes about how Chris Long’s legendary father, Howie, got out of the way of his son’s football success.
NFL Draft Countdown Interview with Chris Long
Scott Wright of NFL Draft Countdown has an exclusive interview with Long before his senior season at Virginia.
Chris Long Depends on Hard Work More Than Famous Last Name
Chris Long has never tried to use his last name as a steppingstone into the NFL. He just relies on hard work and determination.
Chris Long: Casting his own shadow
The Roanoke.com writes about Chris Long’s great backstory.
On his father, Howie, being on FOX pre-game broadcasts:
“I roll out of bed, rub my eyes, and there’s my dad on TV.”
On whether or not he would make it as a college football player:
“For every one person who believed in me, there were seven or eight who [didn’t]. Everybody has a question. Till you step on campus and you see what college football is like, you don’t know. You might think you know, but you don’t.”
On his family members being athletic:
“It’s crazy, but I might be the worst athlete in my family.”
On his dad being famous:
“If somebody wants to say, 'You’re only worth something because of your dad,’ I’m going to use that as motivation.”