FLORENCE, S.C. – Whether it’s Jesse Scroggins or Daryll Clark at quarterback, one of his top receivers for the Carolina Havoc is Tre Long, a rookie out of Shaw University.
While playing for Bears, Long set the program record for career receptions (144) and is second in career receiving yards (1,541).
Long certainly has made his mark with the Havoc, which hosts a first-round American Arena League playoff game 7:05 p.m. Tuesday against Cape Fear at the Florence Center.
“It’s about his size and speed,” Carolina coach Anson Yarborough said. “He’s deceptively fast and has really good hands. He’s around 6-2 and 225 or 230. When you look at him, he looks like a running back. Nobody expects him to be that great of a receiver, but he’s really good. He’s an exceptional talent.”
Long did not have indoor football at the top of his list while chasing his NFL dreams. But as he continues that dream, he now doesn’t mind if indoor football is a stop along the way.
“Honestly, it was January when I decided to play indoor football," he said. "I had always told myself, ‘You’re good enough, coaches say you’re good enough. I was getting NFL buzz, and I think I’m good enough for the NFL. But at first, I didn’t want to play arena, because I was afraid it wouldn’t show my full talent.
“But I’m such a student of the game. I’ve learned how to play arena and find ways to use my skillset inside of the arena. I didn’t want to sit out an extra year, so let’s go play arena and get some good film and keep going from there.”
So, Long adjusts to the new sport.
“It’s a huge adjustment at my position," Long said. "For one, you sometimes start off running, and you don’t do that outside. The second thing, the spacing isn’t the same – the outside field is longer and wider. In arena, you just need to run whatever route you’ve got.”
But that doesn’t keep Long from loving his position any less.
“You still learn ways how to get open,” he said. “It’s a very, very hard task nowadays to get open, because I feel like defensive backs are very athletic and starting to be our size, which is very hard while learning the ins and outs of getting open. That’s my favorite thing about being a receiver.”
While Long chases his first championship ring (Shaw won six games during his three years with the Bears), he keeps chasing his NFL dreams.
“I’m honestly going to go until my body tells me to stop or God tells me to stop,” Long said. “Life’s too short not to chase your passion.”