How Greg Schiano stopped Robert Longerbeam from leaving


Robert Longerbeam has become one of the best defensive players in Rutgers football.

But at one point the cornerback planned to leave for another program.

Longerbeam shared the story of Reem & Beam Unplugged, a new podcast he hosts with Scarlet Knights linebacker Tyreem Powell.

Powell said it was about “a year and a half or two years ago” when Longerbeam, who is returning for a fifth season, was set to transfer.

“There was a lot of play in that role,” Longerbeam said. “Interesting time in my life. I felt comfortable in the corner position, but there were a few older guys above me, so maybe this wasn’t the best spot for me. I made the decision that I was going to leave.”

So Longerbeam called coach Greg Schiano.

Langerbeam was already on his way back to Virginia.

Only by the time he got home he had visitors.

Schiano, who took a helicopter to convince Langerbeam to change his mind, sat on Langerbeam’s couch.

“He says, ‘Nothing is guaranteed, everyone will compete for a job,’” Longerbeam said. “So if you come back and play the best you can through camp and spring ball, that’s on you. I just wanted a fair chance. I didn’t think I would be playing with the older guys above me, I didn’t want to waste a year.”

Schiano’s effort paid off.

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“The level of care he showed in doing that,” Longerbeam said, “this man got on a helicopter from Jersey to VA to make that happen. Once that happened, I felt like this was someone I couldn’t leave.

Powell said Schiano even called him to talk Langerbeam out of it, but Powell didn’t know Schiano was already flying down.

“I was just in a bad space,” Longerbeam said. “He’s just such a good guy. When he had that conversation with me, I thought, ‘I’m staying here. There’s no doubt.'”

And what a victory that was for Schiano and the Scarlet Knights.

Longerbeam has become one of the best cornerbacks in the Big Ten, finishing with 43 tackles, 11 pass breakups and one interception last season. He was one of only two players in the conference with at least 10 pass breakups.