With the NFL draft coming up on Saturday here in New York, four of the top prospects and their mothers stopped by the plaza this morning to chat with Meredith and Ann.
Before the segment, I talked to Jake Long and his mother, Denise (they're in the top left in this screenshot).
Jake, who is 6-foot-7 and weighs 315 pounds, was an All-American offensive lineman at the University of Michigan. On Tuesday, he signed a $57 million contract with the Miami Dolphins, who intend to select him with the first overall pick on Saturday.
So what does the mother of a $57 million man want for Mother's Day? Here's our conversation:
DF: Jake, is it a bit anti-climactic that you signed before the draft? Do you wish you had a little of the suspense of draft day or are you glad that you got it out of the way?
Jake Long: I'm happy to have it out of the way. It's nice to know that I won't have to worry about it, and it will still be exciting on Saturday when I walk out on that stage.
DF: Before you found out that the Dolphins were taking you, when someone said the words "Miami Dolphins" to you, what came to your mind?
Jake Long: Storied program. Great people, new coaching staff. Hard working. I'm just honored to be a part of that.
DF: Denise, for the moms out there who are raising young football players, what do you say to them about putting their kids on the path to being the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft?
Denise Long: Just tell them to be good, keep their noses clean. Work very hard, do well in school, keep up their grades. When you're on the field, do what you have to do, and when you come off the field, be the good person that you are.
DF: I'm guessing Jake was always a big kid. Did you have trouble finding him clothes when he was growing up? Was he always hungry?
Denise Long: Yeah, definitely always hungry. But I really don't remember all that. You just had to have the food for everybody. I have two other boys, too, so feeding three boys was something. Clothes, yes. It was always hard finding clothes.
DF: Where did you end up shopping for him?
Denise Long: It's better now. You can go to more stores that have bigger sizes. But we used to have to go to Penney's through the catalog to get their shoes, their jeans. They couldn't just go to the store and buy clothes, which was hard for them, because all their buddies got to buy their clothes at stores, and they have to buy them through a catalog.
DF: Now that he's signed a $57 million contract, and Mother's Day is right around the corner, what are you expecting from him?
Denise Long: Just a hug and a kiss.
DF: That's it?
Denise Long: That's it. Just a hug and a kiss.
DF: Jake, is it strange to you that you're now the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL without having played a down? What do you think about that?
Jake Long: It's still mind-boggling to me, being the No. 1 pick, and the money thing. I've always played football for fun and all that, so having the money is crazy to me. But I'm going to make sure that I go out there and earn it.
DF: Are there a couple things at the top of your list to buy now that you've signed your contract?
Jake Long: I really haven't thought of it yet. I still can't believe it actually happened. Once this weekend's done, I'll probably buy a house down there and maybe get a new car, but I really haven't thought of the specifics yet.
DF: I have to ask you about your former Michigan teammate and linemate, Justin Boren. He made some negative comments about new Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez, and yesterday, news came out that he's transferring to your archrival Ohio State. What's your reaction to the whole situation?
Jake Long: I really don't know what the whole deal was. I didn't talk to Justin, I wasn't around, so I can't speak on behalf of him. But it has changed, and with a whole new coaching staff, it will change. But I think Coach Rodriguez will do good.
It's too bad it had to happen that way. Justin's a great kid, and I wish him well wherever he goes.
DF: Even to Ohio State?
Jake Long: You know......if that's his choice, you know, you gotta live with it. I really like the kid. He is a great person, and I wish the best of luck for him.
DF: Denise, in what ways is Jake like you? How does he take after you?
Denise Long: Well, his good looks . No, I'm kidding. I think his kindness. He's caring, his personality.
DF: Do you have any advice for him as he heads off into his professional career?
Denise Long: Just be a good person, work hard, and make us proud.