Matthew Long is down for the season, but the up-and-coming quarterback is going to come back next year and continue building on a strong foundation.
Before being sidelined for the season with a shoulder injury while playing linebacker for the Vista Junior Eagles, Long was having a standout year as a two-way player.
In 5 games with the Eagles, the 5-foot-7, 155-pounder put up prolific numbers at quarterback. Long connected on 13-of-25 passes for 245 yards and 4 touchdowns. Showing impressive precision, he was not intercepted and he posted a 125.8 quarterback rating.
He also ran for 481 yards on 34 carries and scored 5 TDs. Long’s athletic ability was even more evident as he caught 4 passes for 80 yards and 4 touchdowns.
While he is good enough to play all over the field, quarterback is Long’s first love. “I like the different options you have, such as passing or running,” he said.
Long’s been playing quarteback for four years, and he entered the season with one key goal. “To be a better team leader,” he said.
Even though his season was cut short by injury, Long was extremely satisfied on two fronts. “As a team, I’m most happy about how well everyone played together,” he said. “As an individual I’m most happy about being a positive leader both on and off the field.”
As a QB, Long has a very promising future. “I think my strengths are being able to read the defense and deciding when to pass or run,” he said. “I want to continue working on making decisions under pressure.”
Training with NFA for three years has helped Long make better decisions and develop his overall game. “NFA camps have taught me the mechanics to be a stronger and more accurate QB,” he said. “NFA has also given me the skills to be a better leader for my team.”
At an NFA camp in Rancho Cordova, Calif., Long received an invitation to the Duel, NFA’s international QB competition held in Atlanta. He finished fifth among incoming seventh graders.
“The great competition at the Duel helped me step up my game and take me to the next level,” Long said. “It really helped get me ready. I came into the season better prepared and with more confidence.”
In addition to his talent on the football field, Long is an Honor Roll student at Folsom Middle School. “Doing well in school helps me to focus on football and not worry about my grades,” he said.
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