Land of 10 has embarked on a series of Next Generation articles as Michigan State writer Luke Srodulski travels the country to meet this year’s incoming class of freshmen. This week we visited S Dominique Long of Westerville, Ohio.
WESTERVILLE, Ohio — There’s a small brown sign above one of the double doors leading out of the Westerville South cafeteria.
“FOOD AND DRINK NOT PERMITTED OUT OF COMMONS”
Michigan State safety signee Dominique Long has gone to high school here for almost four years. When directed to the sign, a perplexed half-smile spreads across his face. He shrugs.
“I’ve never even seen that sign up there, to be honest,” Long says.
Chances are most of the faculty hasn’t noticed it, either. Long’s teachers used to jokingly call him out on his habit of chowing down during class. Now they don’t even bother.
“I clean up after myself,” Long says. “That’s all that really matters.”
Eating breakfast has been an issue for Long; he prefers to get a few extra minutes of sleep. Instead of eating at home, he fills a plastic Kroger bag and reaches for snacks throughout the day.
On Friday, three items lasted until after the final bell: two bags of carrots and a pouch of hickory smoked tuna. He took the snacks to track practice. During football season, he would fuel up right before games.
“This kid eats,” Westerville South assistant coach Eric Calland says. “He’d bring hot dogs out to practice. It’s kind of weird. … I’m not sure he’ll get away with it over at Michigan State. He’d be coming in on Saturdays with his pancakes and stuff.”
It never caused any problems or got him in trouble. Long just needs to eat. He prefers to snack throughout the day rather than load up on two or three big meals.
Some football players put a towel in the back of their pants. Long stocks up on crackers for a mid-practice bite. He never slacks on food. If anything, his water intake needs to keep up.
“I feel like I could do a better job of staying hydrated,” he says.
He won’t have to sacrifice many of his favorites when he heads to East Lansing in July. He’ll have two Panda Express locations within walking distance, and a quick drive will take him to Red Robin or Smokey Bones.
Long laughs at the idea of continuing his practice snacking, though. It’s not worth the risk of his new coaches noticing.
“I don’t think I’m going to try that,” he says.
For the complete Michigan State NextGen series, click this link.