Washington's Adam Long, a redshirt freshman, has ascended to a starting role at one cornerback spot opposite true freshman Desmond Trufant.
Steve Sarkisian might be able to say definitively that cornerback Adam Long is the fastest member of the Washington Huskies football team.
Just one problem — on the day they did timing last offseason, “Long was running track,” Sarkisian says.
But even lacking hard evidence to compare exact times with other players, Sarkisian says he thinks Long is one of the fastest — “if not the fastest” — players on the team. “He can really run.”
Washington football fans are beginning to find that out as Long, a redshirt freshman, has ascended to a starting role at one cornerback spot opposite true freshman Desmond Trufant. In UW’s continuing search to shore up a troublesome secondary, the Huskies turned to Long during the Arizona game, and then rewarded him with a start at Arizona State ahead of sophomore Quinton Richardson. He is scheduled to start again in Saturday’s 12:30 p.m. game against Oregon at Husky Stadium.
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Long finished as the game’s leading tackler with eight, evidence that ASU might have been trying to test him, but also that Long didn’t let any of the balls caught in front of him go for major yards — and three of his tackles came on runs, one a sack on a corner blitz.
“He had a really nice ballgame,” said Sarkisian of Long, listed at 5 feet 10, 166 pounds. “And he’s practiced well again this week running around playing fast and physically.”
Long was a member of UW’s Class of 2008, picking Washington after he passed on California and UCLA, the latter of which was offering a track scholarship. Long finished third in California as a senior in the 200 meters in 21.20. It helped that he already had a high-school teammate headed to UW — Greg Walker, now a UW backup safety, was a classmate at St. Bernard High in Los Angeles.
Long was also intrigued by UW’s academics. He might also rank among the team’s smarter players with a 3.4 GPA, majoring in English while also taking pre-med classes with designs on being either a dentist or a lawyer.
“I’ve got a lot on my plate when it comes to school,” he said.
Saturday, what’ll have on his plate are Ducks, a team whose offense tests the most veteran of players.
But defensive coordinator Nick Holt seems sold that Long could be a long-term answer.
“He did a great job [against ASU],” Holt said. “The more he’s in there, the better he’s getting.”
Oregon QB still uncertain?
Though all signs point to regular starter Jeremiah Masoli returning as Oregon’s QB this week, Ducks coach Chip Kelly told reporters after Thursday’s practice that the position remains a “game-time decision.” The backup is Nate Costa, who started against UCLA on Oct. 10 when Masoli was out with a knee injury, but Masoli has practiced all week. Masoli has started every Oregon game except against the Bruins.
• Today has been declared “Purple and Gold Day” in the state by Gov. Chris Gregoire. A news release said that she would “urge all citizens to don purple and gold” in honor of UW.
• Sarkisian has not ruled out DT Cameron Elisara even though he has not practiced and Everrette Thompson ran with the defensive starters in practice Thursday.
• Scout.com is reporting UW received a commitment from Hawaii receiver Dalaunte “Taz” Stevenson. He is rated the No. 81 receiver in the country and also received offers from Washington State, Utah, Wyoming and Hawaii.
Times reporter Percy Allen
contributed to this story.