USF transfer Jackson Long commits to Georgia Tech

(Arvin Temkar /



(Arvin Temkar /

Georgia Tech’s official-visit weekend has netted a commitment out of the transfer portal. South Florida tight end Jackson Long announced his decision Sunday to accept a scholarship to play for the Yellow Jackets.

Long, who played four games this season for the Bulls in his freshman season, decided to go into the transfer portal after the team’s 1-11 record, the firing of coach Jeff Scott and a staff transition.

After Long went in the portal, teams that had offered scholarships to him as a senior at Beech High in Hendersonville, Tenn., circled back, including Tulane, Memphis and Florida State, Long said. Virginia and Notre Dame also showed interest. Tech quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke reached out to Long with an unlikely connection – Long’s father Kevin was not only a teammate of Weinke’s at Florida State, but also his center and at one point a roommate.

“He called my dad to confirm I was in the transfer portal just to see if that was actually me,” Long said. “He called me and was pretty much like, ‘Hey, we see your film, and we want you. We like your ability to stretch the field. We think you can be an impact right when you get here.’”

Long said he and Weinke had met before, when Weinke was an assistant coach at Tennessee and Long attended Volunteers camps. Then, he was a freshman who was 6-foot-2 and 150 pounds. Now he is 6-4 and 222 pounds and of a bit more interest to Weinke.

Long made his official visit this weekend. While coach Brent Key has yet to hire an offensive coordinator or a tight ends coach, Long liked what he saw enough to make his decision.

“He’s great,” Long said of Key. “He brings energy. He’s an honest guy. He knows what’s best for the players. He showed us what Georgia Tech can do for you and what it can do for your future. That’s what I really like about Georgia Tech.”

Long adds depth and competitiveness to a position that can stand to improve in the pass catching and blocking elements.

“I can do both of those things,” Long said. “I think I’ll be able to fit in great.”

Long plans to enroll in January and has four years of eligibility remaining. He’ll be reunited with USF’s former strength coach, A.J. Artis, who has been hired at Tech.

“He’s great,” Long said. “He knows what he’s doing. He’s got the science and nutrition to get us bigger and stronger and faster.”