San Ramon, California offensive lineman Kieffer Longson, a 6-foot-7, 290-pound tackle at Dougherty Valley High School says the grind of college football is something he's going to be prepared for.
"I'm up every day around 6:15 a.m.," Longson told Eleven Warriors. "I have seminary in the mornings, Monday through Friday, and it starts at 7:00 a.m. I have to help get my siblings out the door every morning."
Ranked as the 24th-best guard in the country for 2015, Longson recently narrowed down his college choices to three: Brigham Young, Ohio State, and Utah. If the Buckeyes inclusion — especially with two schools closely associated with players of the Mormon faith — surprises you, it shouldn't. The Buckeye offered Longson in November of 2013 and have kept regular tabs on him. He got his first chance to check out Ohio State in June and both he, and his parents, came away very impressed.
"I talk to Ohio State still, and I am planning on visiting there again after my season," he said of the Buckeyes. "Ed Warinner is one of the best offensive line coaches I've met, and it was good getting to know him better when I was there in June. My parents loved Ohio State too."
As for what he's looking for in a school choice, Longson has it broken down into three major categories: good football, a good education and a good social life. He says of the three remaining finalists, each of them has particular advantages.
"I think Ohio State stacks up really well with BYU and Utah, educationally," Longson said. "As I look at it the final three are all pretty even in education, and Ohio State gets the edge in football for sure. The social life side of things probably goes to Utah and BYU because of their religious aspect, and that's very important to me. When it comes down to it, the final choice is a really difficult one to make for me."
What stands out about Ohio State for him? The recent success of Ed Warinner and his penchant for developing NFL-caliber lineman.
"The best way to the NFL is through Ohio State," he said. "Corey Linsley is a rookie and he's going to start, Jack Mewhort is a rookie and he might start. They've put a lot of lineman in the NFL in the last year. Everything's on the table with Ohio State, I just need time to decide and to get back there for another visit."
Whichever school signs Longson come February will have to wait two more years to get him on campus, and he's let each of them know that in advance.
"I will be taking a two-year mission after I graduate," the lineman said. "All three of the schools are cool with that and it's something I'm really looking forward to, the chance to go out and help people is something I'm excited for."
If you think the faith aspect means Longson is that much more familiar with Utah or BYU than Ohio State, you'd be surprised to find that's not really the case. He hopes to continue to learn more about each of them as a decision looms.
"I'm going to decide after my season," Longson said of his timeline. "I've visited Ohio State once, and Utah and BYU each twice, so there's not much of an advantage for any school as far how well I know them."