Sam Longo is a man who knows how to keep a secret.
On Thursday, July 3, the three-star offensive tackle prospect decided that he was done waiting and issued a verbal commitment to become an Ohio State Buckeye. But rather than call a press conference or speak publicly about the fact, Longo opted to take a different path.
“I just wanted to take time to call the coaches that had offered me to tell them that I wasn’t going to their school,” Longo told BuckeyeSports.com. “I think I’ve got two or three more, but I’m almost done. I wanted to tell them personally rather than them hear over the internet that I’m not going to their school.”
It was not an easy task with a list of offers that numbers in the 30s, but Longo has opened up and has gone public with his commitment – the 24th for OSU’s class of 2009.
One month ago, this date was just a far-fetched dream for the senior-to-be at Bellbrook, Ohio. Although the Buckeyes had been in contact since his sophomore season concluded, they had not offered him until he made an unofficial trip to Columbus in mid-June.
There, he got the offer he wanted but did not immediately jump on it.
But when it came time to make his commitment, the 6-5, 260-pound Longo said the Buckeyes had an idea it was coming.
“I had sent (OSU offensive line coach Jim Bollman)an e-mail earlier that day saying I was 100 percent sure I wanted to be a Buckeye but I was just trying to find that one thing that pushed me over the edge to commit,” Longo said. “I think they were both kind of anticipating it a little bit but they definitely were happy to have me be a part of Ohio State.”
That one thing that helped push him over the edge was some advice from his father, Gene, who was an outside linebacker for the Buckeyes from 1981-84.
“My dad just asked me, ‘Could you live with the fact that you could never go to Ohio State if the offer went away?’ ” Sam Longo said. “I just thought that I probably couldn’t, so I just jumped on it because I didn’t know what I was waiting for anymore. I told (the coaches) I was ready to be part of the family, and if they’d still have me I’d be happy to be a Buckeye.”
In addition to Bollman, Longo said he spoke with OSU head coach Jim Tressel on Thursday as well.
Longo will join Bellbrook alumnus Austin Spitler on the OSU roster next season. Scout.com ranks Longo as the No. 42 offensive tackle prospect in the country.
His final decision came down to OSU, Cincinnati and Penn State.
When asked why he selected the Buckeyes, Longo said, “The coaches, the people at Ohio State are great, I can trust the coaches, they’re always competing for a national championship, my dad played there, they’re right next door and I grew up in Ohio.
“It’s every Ohio kid’s dream to play at Ohio State.”
The Buckeyes now have commitments from three offensive linemen for their class of 2009. Longo joins Youngstown (Ohio) Boardman guard Corey Linsley and Toledo St. John’s Jesuit tackle Jack Mewhort in the class.
“This is a real humbling experience, and I’m just glad to be a Buckeye,” he said.