As I was browsing ESPN's football recruiting page today, i found they have finally rated 2014 Syracuse Football commit A.J. Long, and the results are impressive.
A.J. is only our second 4-star recruit (according to ESPN) in the past four years, joining only Wayne Morgan. He is also given a talent rating of 82, which is pretty solid considering Morgan was an 80, and our highest rated player of the 2013 class was Corey Cooper at 78.
Long is rated as the #10 dual-threat QB, though he really seems more like a pocket passer and has a strong arm.
Here is the analysis on Long..
Long is a pretty polished passer and a good athlete to boot as a dual-threat signal caller with a knack for accuracy and the long ball. He possesses adequate height and a lean, wiry build -- he looks like a wide receiver. Plays exclusively out of the shotgun and the offense really takes advantage of his ability to throw on the run. Constantly changing the launch point with play-pass and designed rollouts, Long's arm and athleticism really pressures the perimeter. He is similar to Christian LeMay out of the 2011 class. He is a very good athlete and while his strength is as a passer, he can get out of trouble when he has to and can also be effective on designed runs. The ball jumps out of his hand smoothly and with zip. He does possesses somewhat of a 3/4 delivery, but he carries and releases the ball in a very compact manner. He has a good arm that is capable of making all the throws, especially to the short and intermediate areas of the field. Gets set quickly and is decisive in his progressions. Leads receivers and is an accurate passer, and even when his feet are not set he will hit the strike zone consistently. He has good poise and a feel for the game in the pocket -- knows when to move around, buy time and find another throwing lane. Is a run/pass threat on the perimeter. Shows timing and anticipation of routes which gives him an advantage against tight coverage because he knows where to go with the ball.
Long has a good arm, not elite. Plenty of zip and when on time can drive the ball nicely. He has somewhat of a tense upper body and carriage of the ball, but a smooth stroke. Athleticism and speed is good for the position, but we would not call his athleticism a no-brainer for a position move. Passer first, runner second. Long has tools to mold and would be an ideal spread guy. We like his overall production and accuracy.
As a side note, fellow 2014 commit has been rated as a 3-star (72 rating) player making him the #49 running back. But if I had to guess, I would think he will be playing safety at Syracuse, kid looks much better on defense.