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Ty Long Believes Former School UAB Will Have Successful Future With Football's Return

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Redskins kicker Ty Long was perplexed when his former school, the University of Alabama-Birmingham, had decided to shut down its football program despite its surprising 6-6 record and bowl-eligible season.

Becoming the first Division I school to disband their program since 1995, UAB gave Long an opportunity to aspire to his NFL dream, and a place where he could claim some history (in four seasons, his 59 made field goals are a UAB record)

When the school made its unpopular announcement, he realized he would  be a part of history regardless of his stats.

But Monday, after just six months of deliberation and a groundswell of financial support, UAB announced it was bringing back the program for 2015.

"When everything happened it was hard," Long said. "But now that it's back, it's good, it's good for the city. All the coaches are coming back and getting their jobs back.

"It's something for the city to cheer for," he added. "It's something the city can build around. It will be good that they have their team back."

Long said when the verdict was laid down in December, he figured the program would eventually return, but likely not this quickly.

"The right leaders who are stepping in with the boosters," Long said, "those are the guys who get it to unfold where it needs to be."

As for adjusting to the NFL, Long is getting used to making football, and more specifically, kicking, his professional duty, as opposed to juggling school and other responsibilities with it.  

"It's just different living the NFL lifestyle," Long said. "You've just got to adapt and realize it's a job. It's not the college life anymore so I'm making strides every day and just come out here and try and do the best I can.

"They're all great guys," he said of the coaches and his experience chatting with kicker Kai Forbath. "They've told me a lot they've said some great things and just showed me some of the things I need to do just to help me make a career out of this business." 

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