After two years of junior college football, former St. Anne’s-Belfield star Kyle Long has committed to play for the University of Oregon.
“It was a no-brainer,” Long said of the decision. “I feel like the Oregon family is great and they have welcomed me with open arms."
Long, an offensive lineman, spent the last two seasons playing for Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif. The Gauchos started the season by winning their first seven games, climbing to a No. 1 ranking in the process. Saddleback finished the season with a record of 8-3 after a loss to Riverside in the Golden State Bowl. Long earned first-team all conference honors. He will finish up school with an associates degree in the Spring.
“[Saddleback] was an incredible experience for me,” said Long. “It was a place where I was able to get back on my feet as a student and an athlete. Coach [Mark] McElroy is big on giving guys second chances and I am forever grateful to him and the coaching staff and everybody at Saddleback."
Long had several offers from BCS conference schools, including UCLA and Washington of the Pac-12, Auburn, Florida State and SMU among others. Long took official visits to UCLA and Oregon before eventually deciding on the Ducks. He wanted to stay on the West Coast, and was drawn to Oregon by what the football program and the school have to offer.
“I feel like it’s a good fit out here,” Long said. “Eugene is a great town and they have wonderful fans. It seems like they have all of their bases covered academically and physically. It’s just a great football program."
Long will be entering a program that is no stranger to success as of late. The Ducks have won their conference title three years in a row and have earned three straight BCS bowl bids. Oregon played in the BCS national championship game last season. Head coach Chip Kelly has a record of 33-6 during his time in Eugene. Long will have one year of eligibility remaining when he arrives in Eugene next fall.
“I just want to be able show up and work day in and day out as hard as I can,” said Long. “I’m very grateful to have my second chance at this thing. I want to get my degree from Oregon, that’s the main thing.”