Joliet Catholic has been nothing short of a running back factory in recent years. Class of 2011 running back Josh Ferguson is currently playing as a freshman at Illinois, and 2012 back Malin Jones is en route to Northwestern. Now Ty Isaac is the next in line, and when all is said and done, he could be the most highly touted of the group.
The 6'-3", 210 pounder visited campus Saturday to watch the Illini drubbing of South Dakota State. Aside from just the game, Isaac had plenty of positive things to say about the Illini.
"I mean, even for an early game there are a lot of people here. The atmosphere is good. A lot of people are tailgating and showing love. Illinois is playing good football. They run the ball a lot. Overall it's a good feeling."
The Illinois ground game was active on Saturday, and that was something that really caught Isaac's attention.
"I like it. They run a lot, and they run hard. They have a big line. It would be fun to run behind some of them."
This wasn't Isaac's first visit to Illinois. In fact, he was already quite familiar with the Illinois campus from previous visits.
"I've been around this campus a lot during the summer, so I know just about where everything is."
Isaac also got a chance to meet up with his recruiting coaches during his visit. He has a good relationship with both already.
"Coach (Paul) Petrino and Coach (DeAndre) Smith have been recruiting me. As far as Coach Smith, he'd be my position coach. We talk a lot and there's a bond there, which is definitely good since you need to be cool with your position coach. You spend the most time with him.
"Coach Petrino being the offensive coordinator, he tells you, ‘This is what we like to run and stick to,' so he's good to talk to."
Though just a junior, Isaac already has a number of offers from some of the top programs around.
"Right now (other than Illinois) I have Notre Dame, Northwestern, Purdue, Iowa, Arizona, and Toledo."
Illinois was the first to offer. It seems the school has entrenched itself into Isaac's recruitment and put itself in solid position with him until the end.
"It was definitely good to see that the in-state school was noticing people. That and work was starting to pay off. Being the in-state school, I like it here. They'll always be one of my top schools when I come down with a list. I've never ruled them out. I like it down here, and later in the process we'll see where things go."
One of the most exciting parts of Isaac's visit was getting to see former teammate and fellow running back Josh Ferguson in action. Ferguson, a true freshman, is seeing the field early for Illinois this year.
"Oh I love it. We were up there cheering for him. It's good to see him playing. I miss him at Joliet Catholic, but it's good to see him going on to bigger things and doing well."
Understandably, Ferguson has been one of Illinois's best proponents in Isaac's recruitment thus far.
"We talk pretty often. I know being a freshman is probably tougher than I think it is, but he's doing really well. He's running strong, and it's good to see him playing."
A number of schools will be looking to get Isaac on campus this fall. As for his next visit, Isaac will be heading to South Bend.
"Notre Dame next week, then after that I don't know. I still have to set stuff up."