Stellar, Standard & Subpar: Jake Long in 2020
As we inch closer and closer to the start of the 2020 season, we take an in-depth look at each player on the Mountaineer roster. In these breakdowns, we discuss what a stellar, standard, and subpar season would look like for them. We are going in numerical order, so today we turn to safety Jake Long.
After dealing with a shoulder injury in 2016 and a dislocated wrist in 2018, Jake Long is ready to make his impact on the Mountaineer defense. Not only has Long endured a pair of injuries that have sidelined him for an extended period of time, he's also made the transition from corner to safety.
Although Long has primarily been a player used on special teams, 2020 seems to be the year where he can make his way onto the defensive side a little more often. The biggest hurdle that he will have to overcome is competing for playing time with Sean Mahone, Scottie Young Jr., Kerry Martin Jr., and Noah Guzman. However, Long could provide depth at corner if needed due to so little experience existing at corner.
For Long to have a stellar season, he has to make his presence on defense. In 2019, he only registered seven tackles in seven games. As a redshirt senior, he needs to step up and become a key contributor for the secondary. He doesn't necessarily need to win a starting spot, he just needs to earn playing time and make an impact when he's in the game.
A standard season for Long is making his mark on special teams and sprinkling in some playing time on defense, but doesn't make a huge impact on that side of the ball. It's not that Long isn't capable of doing so - injuries and a new defensive scheme have slowed down his progression.
For Long, I would almost consider a subpar season to be similar to his standard season. Again, being a fifth year guy, it's time for him to show out and anything less would be a disappointment. So, if Long has his standard season, you might as well chalk it up as a subpar senior year. Maybe I'm expecting too much from him, but I see Long's tools and think he can provide more production than what we've seen thus far.
What kind of season are you expecting for Jake Long in 2020? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!
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