Why Harbaugh Says CB David Long 'Is a Top-Notch Player in the Conference'

david long michigan cb

Why Harbaugh Says CB David Long 'Is a Top-Notch Player in the Conference'

Football

Why Harbaugh Says CB David Long 'Is a Top-Notch Player in the Conference'

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan has the top-rated pass defense in the country through seven weeks, and there’s one player that doesn’t often get a lot of attention who very well could be the Wolverines best overall.

Third-year cornerback David Long from Pasadena (CA) Loyola has been so solid in man coverage, that opposing quarterbacks have been better served not even throwing to his side of the field. Such has now been the case for over a year.

Scouting website Pro Football Focus has been very bullish on Long — they had him rated as the most lockdown cornerback in the country a year ago — and he’s continued to be just as dominant going up against the top receivers each team has thrown at him.

The only times in memory that any passes have been completed on Long have been of the short, intermediate variety when he’s playing slightly off. When in press, as he is most of the time, teams are just better off not even passing near him.

Last year, Long had two interceptions to help prove his dominance. But, if the QB isn’t throwing the ball near him, it’s difficult to add statistics to just how lockdown he has been.

On Saturday, Wisconsin’s Alex Hornibrook made the mistake that others before him haven’t made. Hornibrook dropped back and attempted to pass at Long, who undercut the receiver and tipped the ball in the air.

The ball landed right in the hands of Michigan strong safety Josh Metellus.

So now with four passes broken up and four passes defended, Long isn’t even among the top metrics in-conference, and is listed as fourth on the team, averaging 0.57 passes defended per game. But, in order to have those stats increase, teams have to try to pass on him. And, right now, they’re not doing that.

Naturally, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is ecstatic about where his third-year defensive back is as of current. On Monday, he sung his praises, and shared why Long has been so effective going from last year to this one.

“He’s been really solid and in the right place all the time,” Harbaugh said. “Heckuva good football player. He’s been tough. He’s out there every snap every ball game. And is just a really good player.

“Getting his hands on the ball when they throw it towards him. The coverage is always tight. He’s a good tackler. He’s a top-notch player in the conference in my opinion.”

While Harbaugh says Long is a top-notch player in the conference, that certainly may be underselling it. Given what we’ve seen and the grades he’s gotten from sites like Pro Football Focus, he very well could (and should) be considered among the best cornerbacks in the nation.

Contact/Follow @WolverinesWire@isaiahhole

Latest

More WolverinesWire
Home