Yesterday afternoon, Syracuse University quarterback AJ Long sent out a fairly cryptic Instagram message that had people speculating about his future with the Orange. As it turns out, there was no impending transfer, and no medical redshirt coming for the sophomore. Instead, news has finally come out that Long has been medically disqualified from playing the game of football after having suffered a series of concussions.
Long missed much of the preseason with an apparent hand injury, and hadn’t been called on after injuries to both Terrel Hunt and Eric Dungey early in the season. Because of that, people began to wonder if maybe something was more serious than a simple broken hand, and now it looks like we’ve got our answer. Long has apparently suffered multiple concussions dating back to last year, including in the spring, according to multiple sources I’ve spoken to over the last 36 hours.
Last season, Long was rushed into playing time before anyone expected after a season ending injury to Hunt. Then a true freshman, the 6-foot signal caller showed flashes and finished the season as Syracuse’s leading passer 935 passing yards to go along with four touchdowns and eight interceptions. But as it turns out, his 7-of-18 performance with 59 yards and a pick against Boston College in last year’s season finale will go down as his last college football appearance.
From what I’ve heard, Long plans on sticking around Syracuse and looking into getting into a coaching career. The kid bleeds orange, and got a giant Syracuse tattoo before ever enrolling, so there’s no questioning his dedication or loyalty to the program. Between his work with former Syracuse QB Madei Williams as well as his leadership and willingness to learn, he could become a terrific quarterbacks coach moving forward.
Here’s hoping for the best for AJ Long, who unfortunately proves that from time to time, football can be a cruel, punishing, and unforgiving game (just ask Isaiah Johnson, another SU player who was medically disqualified due to concussions this past spring).