With no current player on the Oregon roster wearing #74, we decided to go with a blast from the past with Kyle Long. Long is the last player to don the #74 jersey for the Ducks not currently on the roster.
Long follows a long line of football legends. He is the son of NFL Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long who starred with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders. His brother Chris Long currently plays defensive end for the St. Louis Rams and was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.
Before joining the Ducks, Long played on the offensive and defensive line for St. Anne’s-Belfield High School. He recorded 45 tackles as a junior and was named Division 2 all-state VISSA first team for offense and defense. Following his senior season he competed in the 2008 U.S. Army All-American game, but put football on the back-burner as he accepted a scholarship to play Division One baseball at Florida State University. He was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 23rd round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft, but decided not to make the leap to pro baseball.
Long, a decorated pitcher, had a short-lived baseball career and enrolled at Saddleback CC. There where he played defensive line for the 2010 season recording 16 tackles, two tackles for a loss and one sack before switching over to offense for the 2011 season. Despite going through academic issues at FSU, he received an incredible offer to return to Division 1 athletics.
In 2012, Long signed on with the Ducks and initially had to sit on the bench behind an incredible deep offensive line depth chart for the Ducks. Once starting LG Carson York was lost due to injury as well as RG Nick Cody (suspension) and C Mana Greig (injury), Long started to see more and more playing time. Long appeared in 11-13 games for the Ducks and appealed for an extra year of college eligibility, but was denied by the NCAA.
Long was projected initially as a late-second or early-third round pick in the NFL Draft, but began to quickly climb up draft boards with solid performances in the NFL Combine and Oregon’s Pro Day. Long was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the No. 20 pick of the 2013 NFL Draft. Long was the first guard taken in the draft and expects to battle for a starting spot next season.