West Virginia lost its best defensive player on Sunday when linebacker David Long announced he’s declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Long, who was named the 2018 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and was the first WVU player to win the award, made the announcement on Twitter on Sunday morning.
Thank you, Once a Mountaineer Always a Monutaineer🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/F7CIZy70ld
— Day✖️2 (@David__Long) December 30, 2018
Long finished fourth in the Big 12 with 111 tackles, fifth in sacks with 8.0 and first in tackles for loss with 19.0. All eight of his sacks came in conference play, which placed him first in the conference during the nine games against other Big 12 teams.
The linebacker was as consistent as anyone in the conference this season. He won the Defensive Player of the Year award without ever actually winning a Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week award at any point this season.
The Mountaineers entered the season with Big 12 Championship aspirations, but ended with a disappointing loss to Syracuse in the Camping World Bowl. On top of that, rumors are swirling that Dana Holgorsen may be leaving the Mountaineers program for the head coaching job at Houston, where he was previously the offensive coordinator a decade ago.
With questions surrounding the program, several of the team’s top players graduating and/or leaving for the NFL and Long coming off a career year, his decision to take his talents to the next level make complete sense.
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