Last season, Johns Hopkins' Michael Longo recorded 5 1/2 sacks in 12 games. Six games into 2013, the junior defensive end already has matched that total.
After 1 1/2 sacks in the No. 14 Blue Jays’ 42-17 demolition of Dickinson at Homewood Field in Baltimore on Friday night, Longo was quick to spread credit to his teammates, especially those doing what is considered the grunt work along the defensive front.
“It all starts in the middle,” he said. “It starts in the middle with [senior nose guard Mike Zikoski], [junior defensive tackle Michael] Rocca, [senior nose guard Joe] DiTrolio, [junior defensive tackle] Brannock [Furey]. They do a great job of just expanding things for guys on the outside.”
Pressed for a more specific reason for his own success, Longo said the group has benefitted from the coaching of defensive line coach Chris Castillo.
“Coach Castillo worked with us a lot on getting a bull rush going,” he said. “When you get a bull rush, it opens up a lot of your other moves. You can make a move inside, you can rip outside, and that’s really how we get the rush.”
Longo is listed at 6 foot, but coach Jim Margraff said the defensive end makes the most of his 225-pound frame.
“He’s been good every year, but he’s really playing at a high level now,” Margraff said. “He’s extremely strong and extremely quick. He’s not the tallest guy in the world, but he’s incredibly effective right now.”