In-State Profile: Jefferson’s Nick Longerbeam
Jefferson High School linebacker Nick Longerbeam is trying to gain the attention of college coaches around the country.
By: Nick Kirincic
Football has always been Nick Longerbeam’s passion. The 6-1 236-pound junior from Jefferson High School in Shenandoah Junction, West Virginia plays both sides of the ball and has been around football since a young age.
Now, one of West Virginia’s hopeful football prospects, is itching to gain some top notch college offers.
“I’ve always grown up around football and my dad introduced it to me at a young age,” he said. “I’ve played other sports but football has always came out to be number one.”
As a kid growing up whenever Longerbeam would get in trouble, his father, Rick, would always say, “I’m going to tell your football coach” and Nick would always stop what he was doing.
Longerbeam also played basketball and baseball growing up but when he entered his teen years he knew his focus was always going to be on football.
“When I was about 13, I realized that I enjoyed and was better at football than anything else,” Longerbeam said.
This reason for Longerbeam’s passion can come from him being known for his aggression on the field. His father claims that his son is always “first to the ball” and is known for being a “hard hitter.”
When asked where exactly does this aggression come from, Longerbeam had trouble putting it into words.
“I’ve always been aggressive on the field and I can’t explain it. When I’m on the field it’s a different mentality,” the junior said. “You can’t turn it on and off its just there every time I step on the field.”
Longerbeam’s aggression and talent has led him to be a starter on varsity since freshman year. This year he plans on making changes to his role on the team.
Longerbeam said, “I plan on taking a bigger leadership role. As a leader I want to get more kids out on the field and I want them to bring more intensity while playing.”
Longerbeam plays middle linebacker and guard, which are two positions who hit the hardest and the best places to put an aggersive player like Longerbeam. Longerbeam knows that just being aggressive won’t help him get a Division I scholarship. When asked what he needs to work on the most Longerbeam didn’t hesitate,
“My speed,” he said. “I do speed training with Coach Larry Shipley and my speed has gotten a lot better but it still needs work.”
Some scouts and coaches have claimed Longerbeam has “stiff hips.” According to Rick Longerbeam, Nick wakes up at 4:30 in the morning to work out with Shipley for speed training. Shipley puts Longerbeam through intense workouts to bolster his speed.
Longerbeam explained his workouts by saying, “We work on flexability first, then we go the plyometrics, then we go to falling starts and working to get out o my stance, then we work on my strength, agility and to finish it off, cardio and stretching.”
Longerbeam knows that if he wants to play in college his confidence has to be high and his isn’t lacking.
Longerbeam said, “I’m very confident in myself because I know that me working hard and putting my heart into it will take me however far I want to go. “
That heart and confidence has already gotten him some looks from around the country. Accoridng to his father, Marshall, Virginia Tech, Tennesse and Akron has shown interest in having his son play for them. Nick dreams though extend to one of the biggest schools in the country.
Nick has a 3.4 GPA right now and is in AP classes. His father has said that he expects his GPA to be even higher in this upcoming year and senior year.
Longerbeam can’t focus soley on his collegiate asspirations, though. This season he is looking to improve on last season where his team when 5-5 and lost in the second round of the playoffs. Jefferson went 8-2 his freshman year and Longerbeam expects them to have a year more like that than last season.
When asked what his actual expectation were, Longerbeam laser focused said, “To have a winning season and to make it far in the playoffs.”
(Image courtesy of Nick Longerbeam)