Former NFL standout Chris Long discusses his college days at Virginia, where he says almost transferred, in Part 3 of this week’s “Huddle Up with Gus” podcast.
Long, son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Howie Long, went on to win back-to-back Super Bowls with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles after having played his first eight years with the St. Louis Rams.
But he said his college playing days under then-coach Al Groh came with plenty of adversity, including switching positions and learning complicated schemes.
“I thought I was struggling. I was out of scheme. I was learning a new thing. Frankly, it was just really hard,” he told podcast host Gus Frerotte and partner Dave Hager. “My sophomore year, I think it was, I looked at some other schools, and I was on the cusp.
“It was all scheme-driven for me. … (The scheme) is stunting my development, and honestly I’m not having fun.
“I was really glad I stuck it out. My junior year, spring game, I came out and kind of set it on fire a little bit. … I started to feel good. From there, I felt a lot better about it.
“Being on the cusp of quitting or doing something else taught me a lot.”
Long went on to be named a first-team All-American and won the Hendricks Award, given annually to the best defensive end in the country.
Long also discusses the difference between ACC and SEC football atmospheres and meeting his wife in college.
Part 1: ‘Huddle Up:’ Ex-NFL great Chris Long retires to parents’ home – for now
Part 2: Podcast part 2: Chris Long recalls ‘shenanigans’ as a kid, college recruiting
Coming Thursday: Part 4 with Chris Long