|Penn all-state QB enrolls at FCS|
|Wednesday, June 6, 2012|
Sometimes good fortune just strolls in the front door. That appears to have been the case almost three weeks ago when an all-state quarterback from Pennsylvania and his mom showed up at Friendship Christian School and wanted to take a look around.
Fast forward to today and rising junior AJ Long is enrolled at the local private school for the 2012-2013 academic year and is taking part in off-season workouts with the defending Class 2A state champion Commanders.
Long, a 2011 Associated Press Class A first-team All-State selection and a MaxPreps second-team sophomore All-American, tallied 3,700 passing yards, 931 rushing yards, 46 passing touchdowns and 17 rushing touchdowns last season for Pius X in Bangor, Pennsylvania.The Royals were All-American League and District 11 Class A champions in last season -- finishing with a record of (12-2).
“I was coming out of a meeting and someone told me there was a young man and his mother wanting to find out about the school, take a tour, that sort of thing,” said Friendship head coach and athletic director John McNeal. “They also said he was a football player, but I had no idea he was THAT kind of football player.”
In two seasons as the starter at Pius X, the 6-0, 165-lb. Long threw for 6,547 yards and 73 touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,286 yards on 201 attempts -- an average of 6.39 yards per carry with 21 touchdowns.
According to a blog post on ESPN.com Long has already received scholarship offers from UCLA and Syracuse and has been invited to a prospect camp at Penn State.
His decision to leave Pius X in Mid-May and his subsequent relocation to Lebanon with his mother Angela and her husband was the stuff of headlines in several Pennsylvania publications.
"This happened out of the blue," Pius X coach Phil Stambaugh said. "I had no idea he was being disenrolled. I am as much in the dark as anybody. I told him there are no hard feelings and that he would be welcomed back if the time ever came.”
Pius X a Catholic school, is in many ways similar to FCS both in overall enrollment and class size.
The Commanders are coming off a 2011 Class 2A state championship. FCS finished the season 12-3 with a 34-0 victory over Dresden in the BlueCross Bowl Saturday, Dec. 4 at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville.
A run-first team last year, look for the Commanders to be airing it out come this fall.
“I’ve had several conversations with AJ’s mom, dad and step-father,” McNeal said, “they’re all on the same page. They just want AJ to be happy.”
The Friendship Christian coaching staff is well-versed in dealing with major college recruiting based on the national attention former Commander quarterback Lee Sweeney drew several years ago.
Now an assistant coach at Tennessee Tech, Sweeney was a two-year starter at FCS and a Mr. Football Finalist who went on to sign in 2005 with the University of Louisville.
Sweeney had offers from several other Division I schools including Hawaii and Connecticut.
He transferred to Tennessee Tech and wrapped up his Golden Eagle career ranked first in career passing yards (7,157) as well as first in career total offense (6,805). He tied for the school record with 13 games passing for 200 yards or more.