The Syracuse Orange head into the 2013 football season without a starting signal-caller. Perhaps, just perhaps, whoever gets chosen, will just be holding space until A.J. Long gets here. On Wednesday, the Tennessee QB verbally-committed to play for Scott Shafer's outfit in 2014 per CuseNation.com.
Long held offers from the likes of Arizona, UCLA, Buffalo, Ohio and Appalachian State, not to mention interest from tons of other schools. While he's not yet rated by Scout or Rivals, clearly he's a talented individual.
Long transferred to Friendship Christian School from Pius X High School in Bangor, Pa. before his junior year. He finished last season completing 61 percent of his passes for 2,476 yards and a 37-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He also rushed for 669 yards and 12 touchdowns, leading his team to a TSSAA Class 2A football championship.
Long joins RB/S Neasean Howard in the Class of 2014.
Long currently plays for Friendship Christian School in Lebanon, TN but previously played for Pius X High School, which he abruptly left before last season. His former coach was not pleased.
"I obviously care about the kid and think it's a tremendous mistake," said Stambaugh, a former All-American quarterback at Lehigh University. "I want AJ here and I'm in the dark why he left. If he's gone and gone for good, we'll overcome the adversity. It's not going to be easy to replace a kid like that but we're certainly going to try."
Gotta admit, that's a little bit of a red flag. He just up and left his school without telling his coach? Then again, he did lead his new team to a state title, so, I guess you roll the dice that he's gotten it out of his system.