Very few people who have trained their whole lives to be athletes turn down a lucrative contract from a big team. Kyle Long apparently belongs to the list of people who do. The Virginia born sportsman is a guard who represents the NFL’s Chicago Bears. Long would have gone pro a lot sooner but in a different sport. In 2008, the Chicago White Sox of the MLB came calling, but the athlete would turn it down in favor of a college education and collegiate football career at Florida State University.
Kyle was finally drafted into the NFL after he was selected by the Chicago Bears at that year’s edition of the NFL Draft.
Kyle Long’s Bio
Born in Ivy, Virginia on December 5, 1988, Kyle played both football and baseball in his high school days. In 2008, he turned out for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. His baseball efforts in high school and shortly after brought him onto the radar of Major League Baseball’s Chicago White Sox. He was drafted by the team in the 23rd round of the 2008 MLB Draft. However, it appears that they were late to the party as Kyle Long had already made a prior commitment to Florida State University. He consequently turned down the professional baseball team and went to Florida.
Long’s time at Florida was not long by any stretch. He left the institution in January 2009 and enrolled at Saddleback College the following year. Here, he continued to play football, playing defensive end in his freshman year and joining the offensive line in 2011. Again, Kyle switched allegiance and moved on to the University of Oregon where he played in the 2012 season for the Oregon Ducks and was refused an extra year of college eligibility by the NCAA.
Kyle Long started breaking NFL records from the day he was drafted. He was a first-round pick by the Chicago Bears, having been the 20th overall selection of the draft. Since he was drafted to play as a guard, this made him the first guard since 1960’s Roger Davis to be selected by the Bears in the first round. He was also the last of Chicago’s 2013 selections to put pen to paper on his contract.
Long wasn’t involved much in the team’s minicamp for rookie’s due to league rules that prohibited him from participation. However, he started in the team’s opening game, effectively setting another record as the first rookie in the Super Bowl era to start at right guard for the Bears on opening day.
His efforts throughout the campaign were rewarded with a place on Pro Football Focus’ and NFL.com’s respective All-Rookie Teams on January 15, 2014. A combination of preparation and providence resulted in Kyle being called upon to replace the injured Mike Iupati on the 2014 Pro Bowl at left guard. Kyle Long became the first Bears rookie since 2009’s Johnny Knox to be named to the Pro Bowl roster.
Long continued to prove useful for the team and even played at tackle until the team brought in Bobby Massie from the Arizona Cardinals in March 2016. By this time, the guard had been named to three consecutive Pro Bowls.
Throughout his participation in the 2016 season, Long suffered a strained triceps and a torn labrum in his left shoulder. However, he continued to play through the pain until he was eventually put on injured reserve due to a severe ankle injury. He was rewarded for his contribution to the team when on September 7, 2016, he penned an improved four-year contract worth $40 million.
In the 2017 season, Kyle returned to the injured list after aggravating his shoulder and enduring ankle and finger injuries prior to the shoulder problem.
Family: Father, Brother
Looking at his family, it isn’t surprising anymore that he turned down a baseball career in favor of football. Kyle Long comes from a footballing legacy, albeit a short one. He was born to Howie Long, his father, a football legend who played his entire career at defensive end for then-Los Angeles Raiders (now Oakland Raiders).
Kyle also has an elder brother, Chris Long, who currently also plays defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles. He also has another brother, Howie Long Jr., who works with the Oakland Raiders as a scouting and personnel assistant.
In July 2017, Kyle Long indirectly introduced his girlfriend to the world via a post on his Instagram. The guard is in a relationship with Shannon Noel Ford. The red-haired beauty from Gilbert, South Carolina is a model and reality star.
The self-professed Barbara Walters fan attended the University of South Carolina where she bagged degrees in political science and broadcast journalism. She was also a participant in the 2012 Miss South Carolina Teen USA pageant where she finished in the Top 16.
Kyle and Shannon have been together for a while, however, they are not married and have no children.
Height, Weight, and Body Measurements
The footballer stands at an impressive 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m). He also maintains a gridiron ready weight of 143 kg (316 lbs). No other verifiable information is available about his body dimensions.