For many players, leaving college can be leaving home. The University of Michigan is just under 2,000 miles from Los Angeles, however, for former Wolverines cornerback David Long Jr., home is Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Rams drafted Long with their third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Long is a native of Southern California and graduated from Loyola High School in Los Angeles.
Long comes home after three years in Michigan and told Myles Simmons of therams.com that it feels like he’s back in high school:
“It’s like playing high school football again — not in the sense of the speed of the game, but it’s like that at-home feeling,” Long told therams.com on Monday. “I went away for college, so I had to adapt and grow. And I still have to adapt and grow, but it’s a lot easier when you’re at home, versus when you’re still learning your surroundings and your environment.”
Long shows signs of a veteran player by acknowledging the growth he still needs to undergo as an NFL rookie. Coming to Los Angeles, of course, gives him an advantage of comfort over many rookies who are moving to the area, but few rookies come into the league completely prepared.
The cornerback also expressed interest in learning from the Rams established defensive players. In particular, he hopes to learn from veterans at his position, such as Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib.
Long helped the Wolverines grow in each season of his play. Although his stats slightly dipped from his sophomore to junior season, the team picked up two more wins.
Having the advantage of driving to the Rams Thousand Oaks training facility, Long expanded on his advantages of being a SoCal native:
“I’ve been living here my entire life, so that’s a blessing, and to my advantage,” Long said. “I feel comfortable in this environment learning and evolving.”
Long continued saying that it will be ‘cool’ that he can go and visit his family after a game. Having a strong support group should continue to create a comfortable atmosphere for the rookie.
Although it seems unlikely that the rookie will see a significant amount of time on defense this year, there is always a chance as injuries can happen at any time.