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“Big” Joe Long will work for own legacy July 26, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in profiles, Wayne State.
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Massive tackle draws from brother Jake, a top NFL prospect

By Kyle Stefan

Jake Long stands 6-foot-7 and weighs a massive 313 pounds.

His younger brother Joe is a more modest 6-7, 280.

After his junior season at Michigan, Jake was named the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year. Some scouting services tabbed him as the No. 1 offensive line prospect in this year’s NFL draft before he decided to return to U-M for his senior year.

Joe recently graduated from Lapeer East and has yet to play a down of college football.

By all accounts, Joe has a big legacy to live up to.

Tell him something he doesn’t already know.

joelong.jpg

Joe Long heads for the field at Saturday’s MHSFCA All-Star Game. (Photo by Kyle Stefan)

“It’s probably inevitable,” Joe Long said about being likened to his brother, “but he has been a really big influence. He’s really good to me and helps me a lot.

“He’s helped me prepare — more of the mental outlook than technique — and figure out what everything is going to be like.”

Despite the differences between D-I and D-II football, the similarities are present for Joe to follow Jake and become a top-notch lineman.

  • Joe Long enters his first year at Wayne State as a highly-touted, if somewhat raw, prospect. “He was one of the big names of our recruiting class,” WSU head coach Paul Winters said, “because he has the frame and ability to become a top lineman in this league.”
  • He noted that his footwork and speed have improved the most over the summer thanks to the WSU strength and conditioning program and coach Paul Harker. “I can tell already that I’m doing much better,” he said. “The coaches told me I have to get quicker. As a tackle, that is the main focus, to move around in pass blocking.”
  • He also added that a redshirt year would help him add experience, strength and ultimately become a better player. Jake redshirted before cementing himself as a starter his first playing year.

And Joe feels that becoming his conference’s lineman of the year, like his brother did, is eventually an attainable goal. “I think if I put my mind to it, I’ll be able to do it,” he said.

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