Army Incoming: Quarterbacks part I

Tevin Long

With the new cadets officially taking the oath on R-day. ARMYSPORTS.com will discuss this year's incoming football freshman class by position. Rich Ellerson and his staff are trying to turn the program around after two miserable seasons. ARMYSPORTS.com will start by reviewing the new Army quarterbacks.

With the new cadets officially taking the oath on R-day. ARMYSPORTS.com will discuss this year's incoming football freshman class by position. Rich Ellerson and his staff are trying to turn the program around after two miserable seasons. The staff is looking to rebuild depth at quarterback with the graduation of four year quarterback Trent Steelman who signed a free agent contract with the Baltimore Ravens. ARMYSPORTS.com will start by reviewing the new Army quarterbacks.

Tevin Long (5-10, 170) was the starting quarterback last season at the United States Military Academy Prep school. He saw more snaps but he usually split some playing time with Matthew Kaufmann. Long was a two year starting quarterback at Royal High School in Brookshire, Texas before committing to West Point. He earned the starting quarterback job late during his junior year. Tevin started the last seven games and took Royal into the third round of the state championships. Long passed for 1,361 yards and nine touchdowns while completing 78 of 135 passing attempts (57.8%). Long ran for an additional 424 yards and four scores. He earned First Team All-District honors. Tevin endured a difficult senior season in 2011 after most of the players that helped Royal High School make its playoff run graduated. Royal High School struggled to a 2-8 record with a very inexperienced team. Long threw for 663 passing yards as a senior. He led the team in rushing and scored three touchdowns.

Last year Long won the starting quarterback at USMAPS and helped lead the team to a 7-1 record. In the opener he passed for a touchdown and directed the offense to 51 points against an overmatched Kings College JV team. The next game against RPI JV he scored a touchdown and threw another touchdown pass. The following week Tevin showed his speed ripping off a 48-yard touchdown run on an option play versus Gattaca Academy. Long ended the game with over 100 rushing yards in addition to throwing a touchdown pass. Long led the offense up and down the field as it racked up 62 points at West Point against traditional prep powerhouse Milford Academy. Long once again demonstrated his running ability on a 58-yard touchdown run when he made a terrific cut and outran Delon Stephanson, a Rutgers recruit, for the end zone. Tevin completed 2 of 5 passes for 35 passing yards and a touchdown against Milford Academy. He actually was better than those passing numbers suggest. Long's first pass was a perfectly thrown ball on a go route than Edgar Poe dropped in the end zone. The very next play former USMAPS head coach Tom Simi called another pass play and Tevin hit running back Elijah St. Hilarie in stride in the end zone on a wheel route for a 30-yard touchdown pass. He lost another sure touchdown pass when fullback Aaron Kemper slipped and fell down on a wide open screen pass.

The following week Long had his worst game of the year against Valley Forge. On The Opening series he pitched blindly behind the runner and the fumble was recovered by Valley Forge. The next series Long threw a picture perfect 61-yard touchdown pass to USMAPS wide receiver Xavier Moss hitting him in stride deep down the field on a post pattern. Early in the third quarter Long made a mistake under pressure and once again forced a pitch behind the running back. Valley Forge scooped up this fumble and returned it for their only touchdown of the game. Long was benched after his second fumble and he finished with a season low 15 rushing yards on six carries. Tevin rebounded the next time out with one of his best games directing the Black Knights to a hard fought 39-34 win over a tough Globe Academy team as he ran for well over 100 yards. Long used his quick feet and top end speed on a 51-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to secure the victory. In the finale against Navy Prep he had a solid game but his running backs fumbled twice killing two of his drives. He finished the game carrying the ball 12 times for 59 yards. His only pass attempt fell incomplete and he was sacked once.

Long didn't produce the prolific statistics that Matthew Kaufmann did in high school but it's clear to me, after their prep season, that he has a higher ceiling and more upside. Long has the ideal feet for an option quarterback. He is quick, shifty, can start-and-stop on a dime and plant his foot and go. He is a fast runner and can make people miss. Other than the Valley Forge game he made good decisions with the ball and pitched it decisively with either hand. As a passer the left handed Long has a rather funky sidearm delivery. As a result of his awkward throwing motion and inconsistent release point he can be erratic on certain throws and at times his ball can sail. Long, despite his unorthodox delivery, demonstrated a nice feathery touch on deep post and go routes. He has the ability to deliver the ball to receivers in stride down the field for big plays. While the plan is to develop Tevin as a quarterback, if necessary, he is athletic enough to play running back, wide receiver or defensive back if the staff ever decides to move him. Long chose Army over offers from Wofford and Idaho State.



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