Greenwich High standout Longi to play football for Fordham

In a photo that appeared in the Sept. 19 edition of the Greenwich Post, Greenwich High School's Austin Longi cuts the corner and heads towards the GHS sideline during a game against West Haven High School. — Avery Belicka photo

In a photo that appeared in the Sept. 19, 2013 edition of the Greenwich Post, Greenwich High School’s Austin Longi cuts the corner and heads towards the GHS sideline during a game against West Haven High School. — Avery Belicka photo

The high school football season hasn’t even kicked off yet, but Greenwich High School senior standout Austin Longi still has plenty of reasons to smile.

While it might take some time to get used to, Longi will be playing for the Rams next season. However it won’t be the New Canaan Rams that have been one of Longi’s main rivals during his tenure with the Cardinals.

Instead, he will be playing collegiate football for Fordham University.

“I am very excited,” Longi said. “It’s a great school and even better of a football team. I am very excited because it’s close to home and I really couldn’t go wrong.”

During his junior campaign with Greenwich High, Longi had a season to remember. He rushed for 1,598 yards and added 25 rushing touchdowns. While playing receiver at times, Longi finished with just under 350 yards and added three touchdowns.

Against Trumbull High School, Longi finished with 330 yards and 26 catches and scored five times. A few weeks later against Danbury, Longi tallied 340 total yards in the first half and finished with five rushing touchdowns, an interception and a punt return for a touchdown.

Among his many honors last season, Longi was named an All-FCIAC selection and was also the named Greenwich’s hometown Sports Persons of the Year from the Fairfield County Sports Commission.

Throughout the summer, Longi went to a ton of football camps from around the area. Knowing that he needed to get the exposure at the camps because the Cardinals didn’t have that stellar season as some of the powerhouse schools in New Jersey and Pennsylvania had, Longi was showing off his skills to a plethora of schools.

One of them happened to be Fordham, who liked Longi enough to bring him to the school for their camp. Another school that thought highly of Longi was Colgate University.

For Longi, it was a tough choice of picking between two schools.

Although the GHS senior said that both Fordham University and Colgate University would offer him a similar education, it was the distance away from his hometown of Greenwich, in addition to the colder winter months that helped

“It’s a great campus and it was very important to me that they have such a great coaching staff,” Longi said. “The coaches are great and they obviously know what they are talking about. It’s a great organization and there’s nothing bad to say about it at all. I liked Colgate a lot, but in the end I liked the Fordham football program better.”

With his college of choice already in the books, Longi can take a deep breath and focus his attention to this season with Big Red.

“It’s a lot of pressure off my back,” Longi said. “It feels really nice and now I can contribute to my team and not worry about getting as many runs as possible to show schools what I have. I can focus on helping make Greenwich High the best team it can be.”

And that takes place in a few short weeks. On Sept. 12, the Cardinals will open its season with a huge game against perennial powers West Haven High School at Ken Strong Stadium.

“I think we are going to have a big improvement from last year,” Longi said. “We definitely are more connected as a team and a have a lot more dedication. We have a lot returning players and I think all of that will contribute to having a great season. I am hoping we will be more successful than we were last season.”

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