How Greg Schiano used the chopper to keep a Rutgers player out of the transfer portal

Greg Schiano didn’t move heaven and earth to retain one of his Rutgers football players from entering the transfer portal. He just moved the heavens it turns out.

The story is crazy to think about. Schiano once used a helicopter to beat Robert Longerbeam to his home in northern Virginia, a distance of over 200 miles from the Rutgers campus, despite the defensive back getting a head start on his trip.

It was April of 2022 and Longerbeam had looked at the depth chart at Rutgers. Throughout the secondary, he saw established players ahead of him at cornerback such as Kessawn Abraham and Max Melton as well as Christian Izien in the nickel.

Playing time, he figured, was going to be sparse. So he was ready to leave Rutgers and enter the transfer portal.

So he decided it was time to leave.

“It was a lot that played into that part, an interesting time in my life. I got comfortable playing the corner position but there were some older guys above me,” Longerbeam told teammate Tyreem Powell on the ‘Reem And Beam Unplugged‘ podcast.

“Maybe this may not be the best place for me. Once I made that decision to leave, I called coach but you know I was already on the way to VA.”

This decision to call Schiano from the road indicated that Longerbeam had already made up his mind and was set on entering the transfer portal.

“By the time I got to VA, I kid you not bro…I go home… Coach Schiano was on the couch – he took a helicopter down there,” Longerbeam said.

“He’s like ‘Nothing is guaranteed, everyone is going to be competing for a job. So if you come back and you play the best during camp and spring ball, it’d be your job.”

This left an impression on Longerbeam, who had 42 total tackles, an interception and eight passes defended last year as a starter at Rutgers.


“I just wanted a fair shot, I didn’t think I was going to play with the older guys above. I don’t want to waste a year,” Longerbeam said.

“That level of care he showed, doing that, flying on a helicopter from Jersey to VA. Once that happened, I’m like ‘That’s someone I can’t leave’ bro.”

The move by Schiano to fly down to Virginia on such short notice left a real impression on Longerbeam. One that he says has helped define his outlook at Rutgers.

“I was in a bad space, taking with coach – you know how he is. He’s just such a good guy,” Longerbeam said.

“Once we had that talk I’m like ‘Yes.’ Still here.”


Story originally appeared on Rutgers Wire