RECRUITING: Byron Isom has his agenda set

Byron Isom, Lovejoy High School star, is cruising through his senior year with a full schedule of school, football, and recruiting visits. Isom, an academic scholar with a 3.0 GPA and a 1250 score on the SAT, is a young man that really seems to have a grasp on his priorities. He says that he will take the SAT again in an effort to improve his score.

(Byron Isom profile)

"I keep an agenda and I stay organized. My mom keeps me level headed. I set time aside for school work, senior activities and football practice of course. With recruiters calling me at night it gets kind of hectic, but I keep a pretty tight schedule," said Isom.

Here's what it looks like in the day in the life of Byron Isom as a high school senior football player:

  • 6:00am- Wake Up, Get dressed for school
  • 7:30am- Arrive at school, lift weights
  • 8:15am- Go to classes
  • 3:20pm- School dismissed
  • 4:00pm- Watch Film with the team
  • 4:30pm- Practice starts
  • 7:00pm- Practice ends
  • 8:00pm- Shower, eat dinner, begin homework
  • 9:30pm- Recruiters begin calling
  • 10:00pm- Complete homework if not completed before the recruiting calls

Isom has zoned in on some major universities, including Florida, Auburn, South Carolina, Michigan State, and Ohio State. Of those, Isom lists three as his favorites: "Auburn is my number one, South Carolina second, and then Florida. I'm planning on taking an official visit to all of my favorite schools. The other two universities that I will visit are pretty much open."

Isom, who plays both offensive and defensive line for Lovejoy High School, wants to play defensive line in college. Strangely enough, Auburn is Isom's number one choice, even though they are recruiting him for the offensive line.

Isom says, "Auburn is really close to home. I went there and it has a great environment. Coach Hugh Nall, Auburn's offensive line coach, believes that I can excel at offensive guard. I talked to Coach Nall, he said he is willing to give me a chance on the defensive line also. Auburn coaches tell me that which ever position I excel at that is the position that I will play."

South Carolina is number two on Isom's list because of Tyrone Nix, the Gamecocks co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach. Isom enjoys the interaction with Nix. "I have a great relationship with coach Nix, he speaks with my mom, and I call him during the week sometimes just to see how he is doing. Coach Nix is a great guy. South Carolina really needs defensive linemen. If I were to go to school, there I would have the opportunity to play early. That is the real draw for me."

The University of Florida is number three on Isom's list. He attended Junior Day this past spring at the University of Florida. "It was all the top prospects for the 2006 recruiting class. We got to watch the team during practice and talk to the coaches. I spoke with Coach Matheson; he said that Florida really likes me. If I made the choice to come there I would have a great chance of playing." Isom also said, "I went to the Middle Tennessee State game last year at The Swamp and the scenery was great. I really liked it there. I know a lot of people down there so that draws me to that school."

Ohio State is another school of interest to Isom even though they have yet to make an offer to him, "Ohio State -- that's just self explanatory they play big time football there."

On Michigan State, Isom said: "They are doing real well right now, and I like the feeling up there.

Isom and his mother will make the final decision on which school is best for him. "The location of the school is not that critical to us right now. We are looking for great academics, the graduation rate of the athletes, and how good is the football program. I would like to study Sports Medicine. I am looking for a balance between the schools' academic and football programs. I want to know how well I will fit into both of those as well as the scenery. Those are the things that we are looking for in a school."

Isom is paying attention to all the details of his future. "Coaches have offered me a four year scholarship if I play right away. If I redshirt they are willing to give me a five year scholarship. I have spoke with some schools about the scenario of an injury. If that happens and I'm not able to play for a year or two, I will still be on scholarship. According to the universities, medical redshirting would not be a problem. I wanted to get that out of the way before I made my decision," said Isom.

Isom and his mother will sit down together after he has taken all of his official visits to choose which school is best for him. The agenda is set. Whichever school Byron Isom decides to attend will be getting a gem that also has a strong focus on academics.

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