Pead Looking To Take Next Step

Called a homerun hitter by head coach Brian Kelly, running back Isaiah Pead knows his game is changing for the better at the college level.

After a recent practice Brian Kelly was asked about running backs.  Without much though, Kelly brought up the skill level of Isaiah Pead and how the Columbus, Ohio native needs to continue to change his game if he wants to reach another level.  Pead understands what his coach wants.


"I'm trying to get the mentality to lower the shoulder and get the tough yards.  But for me and my mentality I've got to break some long runs.  If my long runs are only ten or twelve yards that's fine but I'll always have the mentality to break the long run at least one or two times a game.  But I also know my mentality needs to be to get the first down."


Having received some playing time this past fall, Pead learned quickly he wasn't in high school anymore.


"College football is all about time management.  The game at this level is more of a mental thing than it was in high school.  In high school it was all about the physical part of the game but here you've got to know more about the game than just being physical."


So what is the hardest part of the college game?


"It wears you down when you get to the middle of the weak.  But this is the easy part as compared to what it will be like when we go to Higher Ground in a couple more months.  But its football and you expect it, but you've just got to keep the mental part of your game in check and go period by period."


With two veterans ahead of him, Isaiah knows things can change week-to-week at this level.


"We're all auditioning each day to be the guy that wins the job.  Their on a college field just like I am and I know each of us have respect and support for each other but we're all competing to win the job.  They may have more experience but I'm here to push them just like others are here to push me. That is how we're going to each get better.  We're only on this stage for a short time and each of us better take advantage of it.  Everyone wants to start including me."


Making the choice to Cincinnati opened many eyes when Pead made his choice on National Signing Day.  Looking back to that day when some asked the running back why he chose to be a Bearcat seems funny now.


"Now it's like, when's the next game and can I get some tickets.  Cincinnati wasn't a high profile program and everyone knows that.  But I picked them because I saw a program on the rise and I knew a couple of the players.  The coaches were great and I felt real comfortable here.  But I felt we'd be a contender for the Big East and play in a BCS game.  We've now done that and we're going to do it some more."


While Pead could have signed with other programs and played in bigger stadiums, he's found Nippert to be a special place.


"Playing here is very special.  We've played in some bigger stadiums but when the lights come on at Nippert and we run through the tunnel you know it's going to be a hard hitting game."


One of the things Pead has seen increase since becoming a Bearcat is the talk about the Bearcats in his hometown.  With many looking at Ohio being an Ohio State only state, Pead has seen much more talk about what is happening in the Queen City when he returns home.


"There have been several guys from the Columbus area that have done well here over the years.  Now I think more people are seeing the success guys are having from Columbus and the city league at the college level.  When you have players like Jacob (Ramsey) and DeAngelo (Smith) have success here people start to talk and take notice."


While Bearcat fans have yet to see the full effect Isaiah Pead can have on a game, the Eastmoor Academy product knows his time is coming as long as he continues to work hard and do the small things the coaches continue to stress during spring practice.

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