It was a, well, long journey for new Redskins guard Spencer Long.
In 2009, he went to Nebraska as a defensive lineman without a scholarship. In 2014 he was a top 100 selection in the NFL draft as an offensive lineman.
He needed that strong work ethic to make it. Nebraska was the only Division 1 college that gave him a chance to walk on. Long started as a defensive end, moved to defensive tackle and was an offensive lineman by his second year with the Cornhuskers.
He didn’t play at all as a redshirt freshman. “I had to work my way up there,” he said. “I put a bunch of weight it, it worked out well for me.”
Long started every game in 2011 and 2012 but a knee injury cut his senior year short after six games.
That didn’t keep him from getting drafted in the third round (78th overall) by the Redskins. A week after the draft, here he is figuring out the ropes in Ashburn.
“A lot to learn, real fast”, he said. “But we’re picking it up nicely, I think.”
He’s playing right guard now but he sees himself as versatile.
“I like to think I’m a pretty well rounded player,” he said. “I can get out it space, get up to the second level. I think I’m pretty fast for an O-lineman.”
“I’ve played all three interior [line positions], my most experience is at right guard but I have played a little bit of center.
Which does he prefer?
“I like guard a little better; I’d rather just not have a ball in my hand,” he said. “But I like the mental game of center, making the calls, that’s pretty fun.”