The Moore American

February 1, 2012

Signing day engulfs area schools

Andrew Long heading to Air Force

By Michael Kinney
The Moore American

MOORE — As a sophomore, Andrew Long watched many of his Southmoore teammates take part in national signing day. Back then, he couldn’t wait to be part of the hysteria that engulfs college football recruiting.

Two years later, Long had a different mindset. When he sat down Wednesday to sign his National Letter of Intent to the Air Force Academy, he was just glad it was over.

“It was a relief, I guess, to get done with this whole process,” Long said. “It’s been a really long process. Been going on since the end of freshman year. Good to get it over with. I am ready to be there. Ready to get it started.”

Long rushed for 1,084 yards and 11 touchdowns on 172 carries for Southmoore in his final season. He broke the 1,000 yard barrier each year.

“People who have seen Andrew perform over the past four years can point out the obvious things he brings to the football field: speed, agility, toughness and finesse,” Southmoore runningback coach Spencer Braggs said. “However, what sets him apart from the other players at the running back position is his versatility and his ability to turn a negative play into a game-changing play.  With that, you don’t have many opportunities to coach a guy like that too many times.”

Long had offers from Central Oklahoma and Washburn University. Colorado State had interest in him. But it was the Falcons who have wanted him from the very start.

Long’s family was also glad he chose the Falcons. Not just because of how it will help him after college, but also cause his grandfather and uncle also served in the Air Force.

“I am just glad it’s over with,” Long said. “It’s not that big of a deal. It is for family and friends. But it’s more for them I guess than it is for us since we’ve already been through it and know what’s going on.”

Long was joined by four teammates during the signing day ceremony, which was held in front of family, friends and members of the school's student body. Caleb Washington, Caleb Stalnaker, Isaac Whitney and Levi Jennings each signed Letters of intent.

Across town, Moore High also had signing day. Taylor Smith, Taylor Lewis and Dakota Gilbert will play football for Southwestern College next season while Spencer Damm is heading to East Central.

“It feels like it was yesterday I was just finishing up my sophomore year and now I’m signing to go to college,” Lewis said. “For my friends to be here and to be part of it, it’s great.”

Kyle Factor was the only football player to sign from Westmoore. The noseguard said he chose Missouri Southern over Central Arkansas, Weber State, Wyoming, Central Oklahoma and Southeastern Oklahoma.

“It was pretty much the consistency of their coaches calling me,” Factor said. “They called me every day. Showed the wanted me a lot. It feels like the coaches there really care about their  players. They all want to win.”