As Oregon offensive lineman Kyle Long reported to the Senior Bowl on Sunday, he was checked in by a Rams scout.
"The scout was looking down, and he said, 'Chris?' " Long said, laughing. "And he looked up and it wasn't Chris."
No, it was his little brother, but their voices sound that much alike. And actually younger brother would be more accurate, since there's nothing little about Kyle Long, who measured in at a shade over 6-6 and 304 pounds for Senior Bowl week.
All signs indicate that Kyle Long is about to become the third member of his family to play in the NFL, joining his Hall of Fame father, Howie, and older brother, Chris, who has blossomed into one of the league's better defensive ends with the Rams.
But little more than three years ago, Kyle Long was about as far away from the NFL as one could imagine.
A 23rd-round draft choice by the Chicago White Sox in 2008, Long instead opted for Florida State as a lefthanded pitcher who could throw in the mid-90s.
"That was in a previous life," he said. "Baseball, you didn't have to hit anybody, and my dad didn't know anything about it so he couldn't step in and tell me what to do. They gave me a ball and said, 'Throw it as hard as you can.' I had some success with that until I realized there were a lot of guys that could do that and knew what they were doing."
Things came almost too easy for Long, and he was far from a model student-athlete at Florida State. He partied too much, studied too little, ended up dropping out of school. Shortly thereafter, he was arrested for a DUI.
"I had to really establish my priorities," he said. "My old priorities were out of whack, and I had to become a man. We all grow up at different ages, and we all grow up in different ways under different circumstances. And mine just happened to be a little bit later. I was a late bloomer, and I wouldn't change anything because it's made me the man I am today."
Long got back in school at Saddleback College, a junior college in Mission Viejo, Calif. And he got back on the field, only this time in football. Why football instead of baseball?
Chris Long's brother could be next to play in NFL
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Jan 22