That anxiety was subdued, however, when he received a call from the Washington Redskins.
The Redskins made Long, a guard from Nebraska, their 78th-overall pick in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
“It’s overwhelming,” Long told the media after being picked. “I’m so thankful for this moment and so happy. You know, I’ve come a long way and I just couldn’t be happier to be a Washington Redskin right now.”
Long – who stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 320 pounds – has “good leg drive – can create a push in the run game and position sustain,” according to his profile on NFL.com, which could bode well as he tries to open up holes for running back
Another key attribute, according to Long’s profile?
“Flashes some nastiness.”
“I think I bring a mentally tough and physically tough guy on and off the field who takes care of his business and is a very consistent player,” Long said. “Well-rounded, can have very good potential to make a difference on the team here.”
Long said he is recovering from injuries to his left MCL and PCL, but expects to be “ready to hit the ground running for rookie minicamp next week.”
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said they’ll evaluate Long throughout the week, but is excited to have a player with his mental fortitude on the roster.
“We feel good about his recovery,” Gruden said. “He's a smart kid too. He's a pre-med student I believe, and he'll let us know when he's ready. He's been working his tail off. He's strong, he's excited, but we're anxious to meet him and we'll see where he is and we'll go forward.”
NOTES ON THE SELECTION OF SPENCER LONG
- Long is the third selection of the Jay Gruden era and is the 37th selection by the Redskins under Executive Vice President/General Manager Bruce Allen.
Long was the Redskins’ second pick of the third round, marking the first time the Redskins had made two third-round selections since 2002 (CB Rashad Bauman and WR Cliff Russell). It is the fourth time in the Common Draft era (since 1967) that the Redskins have made multiple selections in the third round (1993, 1994, 2002 and 2014).
- Long is the 434th selection made by the Redskins in the Common Draft era and the 33rd third-round selection in that time frame. He is the 62nd third-round selection by the Redskins all-time since the institution of the draft in 1936.
- Including the selection of
Morgan Moses, Washington selected offensive linemen with consecutive picks for the first time since selecting C Erik Cook and T Selvish Capers with two seventh-round selections in the 2010 NFL Draft.
- Long is the 20th Nebraska Cornhusker selected by the Washington Redskins all-time, tied with Alabama for fourth-most of any school in team history.
- Long joins E Elmer Dohrmann (1938), G Don Boll (1953), T Jerry Minnick (1954), T Don Glantz (1955), G Bob Jones (1964), B Kent McCloughan (1965), T John Strohmeyer (1965), T Walter Barnes (1966), T Mark Doak (1975), DB Ardell Johnson (1975), G Dennis Pavelka (1975), DE Dean Gissler (1976), DB Brian Davis (1987), DT Kent Wells (1990), S Jamel Williams (1997), LB Cody Glenn (2009), RB Roy Helu (2011), S DeJon Gomes (2011) and WR
Niles Paul(2011) as Nebraska products drafted by Washington all-time.
- Long is the seventh player to be selected by the Redskins at No. 78 all-time, joining B Wilbur Moore (1939), B Bob Hoffman (1940), T Mike Katrishen (1948), B Bob Kennedy (1949), T Leon Bennett (1958 and T Charley Nickoson (1963).
- Long is the fourth Nebraska product selected by the Redskins in the Allen era, the most of any school.
Native Nebraskan. Walked on and redshirted in 2009. Did not see action in '10. Stepped into the lineup in '11, starting all 13 games at right guard. Played through a torn right meniscus in '12, starting all 14 games at RG. In '13, started the first six games at RG before tearing his right MCL against Purdue and undergoing season-ending surgery and did not work out at the NFL Scouting Combine because of it (medical exclusion). Elected not to lift at the combine because of an appendectomy. Team captain.
Very solidly built with a good frame. Good leg drive -- can create a push in the run game and position-sustain. Solid in pass protection -- good anchor, shadow and mirror. Good base and balance -- controls and steers defenders. Flashes some nastiness. Intense, competitive battler. Smart and instinctive. Lunchpail worker will do a lot of extras and is very ambitious and driven to succeed. Excellent weight-room strength -- can squat a small house. Good versatility -- has played inside and outside. Very tough and played much of final two seasons through knee injuries. Possessed the biggest hands of any offensive lineman at the combine.
Big, tough, physical, ornery blocker with starter-quality positional traits and intangible qualities. Is best in a phone booth, where he excels as a run and pass blocker, and is smart and savvy enough to contribute outside in emergency situations.