Local Running Back Ryan Izzo

For those who follow prep football in eastern Massachusetts, the name Ryan Izzo is quite familiar. The diminutive tailback from Walpole has racked up off-the-chart numbers during his first two seasons of high school ball. Last season, he averaged 8.8 yards/carry and scored 38 TD's for Walpole High.

Unlike most parts of the country, football recruiting starts a little late in New England. The summer after the junior year is when prospects begin to take a look at colleges and see their recruiting pick up. A good example is Ryan Izzo from Walpole Mass.

"Nothing much has been going on with football recruiting. I just finished up my lacrosse season last Friday. I've been finishing up my school work. I just had my final exam and that means my summer is about to start.

"It appears things are just getting started for me. I have like twelve schools that have been sending me letters and talking to me. Richmond, Connecticut, New Hampshire and UMass have been the most active. BC has been in too. "

With summer starting, Ryan plans to start checking out colleges that have shown interest, as well as attend some camps.

"I'm going to the BC camp during their third session. Coach Devine is the coach that has been talking to me. He wants me to come to their camp. I'm going there for a full camp and I'll do some other camps for one day."

Like a lot of athletes, colleges have differing opinions as to where he fits in at the next level.

"The majority of schools are looking at me as a running back, but some think I can play safety or corner. I'm 5'9" and 170 so I'm most likely going to play running back in college, but I also play safety in high school."

It is at running back where Ryan has stood out in high school. The last two season he amassed over 4,000 yards on the ground and 71 touchdowns.

"I'm more of a scat-back. That's what the coaches say when they are talking to me. They use that term. It makes sense. I'm not a guy going out and running over people. I just use my vision to anticipate where the defenders are going and try and go the other direction.

"What coaches say about me is I have the ability to see the field and make quick cuts. They say that's my strength. Everyone of them says that's what is outstanding about me. Honestly, I don't think about. I just go out here and run away from guys. At my size that's the only way to do it. I don't think about it or work at it. It just comes naturally."

With school over and lacrosse season finished, it is time to focus on recruiting. "This summer will open up a lot more. I have not had much time to focus on recruiting with lacrosse season. I have a list of schools I like, but I think I'll be hearing from more schools and over the summer. Obviously, I like BC and will be at their camp. There are some others that I have just started hearing from lately that I want to look into as well.

"Richmond, UNH, and UMass have stood out. With the summer coming, I will be seeing how it plays out as schools start to offer and I get time to talk to their coaches and take some visits. I'll know more in the fall once I get through the summer."

As far as what Ryan is looking for in a colleges, he has yet to set specific criteria. At this point it is more about overall comfort.

"I'm not set on staying in New England. I'm open minded about it. I have the BC camp in June and then some one day camps at UConn and UNH. I have some lacrosse tournaments too. While at those I will be looking at some schools that are close. I'll be in Virginia and Maryland for tournaments. So, I will look at some of the schools that are looking at me for lacrosse."

"I've proven myself so far in the classroom. The thing I'm looking for in a college is a place where I know I will be comfortable as a student and a player. I don't exactly know the specific things, but I think I'll just know that it is the right fit for me. The feel of it is what I think will make the decision for me."

As far as Boston College, the only big-time football program in the region, the attraction is natural.

"Growing up you hear about BC all the time. I've been there a few times and been to their camps. So, it would be great if they were to offer. It is the local school and close to home."

At this point, there is no time table for a decision. The focus now is simply getting a list of interested schools and putting together his options.

"My plan is to use the summer to learn about the schools that are interested and see who is serious. Once the fall comes I'll have a better idea about my options. At that point, I can begin to think about those schools seriously and make a decision."

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