The Isaac Plan

Ty Isaac was one of the top running backs in the nation coming out of high school, eventually signing with the USC Trojans. But as some of his circumstances changed, he made the decision to transfer somewhere closer to home and, more importantly, his family.

It wasn't always an easy decision for former Joliet Catholic running back Ty Isaac, but his choice to leave USC for somewhere closer to his Chicago-area home was one he had to make for multiple reasons.

Isaac, once one of the most coveted players in the country coming out of high school, signed with the Trojans over many other quality schools, opting to continue his football career and education far away from home on the West Coast. Isaac knew some people would be disappointed to see him leave, but he's received positive reinforcement from his coaches, teammates, and fans alike thus far.

"I've received nothing but support," he said. "Southern Cal always had great fans, so that wasn't unexpected. Everybody at SC has been great about it. No hard feelings. It was a tough decision, but it wasn't based primarily on football."

The experience at USC was valuable for Isaac. While his statistics on the field aren't what many expected, he has no regrets about his time there, and is grateful for the lessons he learned and the growth on and off the field that he made.

Those life experiences have prepared him for the next big step he has to make when he makes yet another significant life decision, choosing his next college destination.

"I'm just taking everything I learned about being a student athlete, really," he said. "When you get recruited, everything seems sweet, you know. Not to say that it's not (sweet), but you really have to ask questions, get details, and make a good choice."

Isaac called this next decision a "business decision" and that he feels "100% more prepared" to approach the recruiting process this time around.

It's a good thing Isaac is ready to handle the process, because he already knows a long list of suitors is already lined up and ready to reach out to him.

"Right now I think I'm cleared for anything within 350 miles of my house, but I think that's going to get larger pretty soon," he said. "But it wouldn't make sense for me to go too far from home based on why I'm coming home."

Isaac continued, "I haven't been on my phone much yet, but my parents said a lot of schools have already contacted my coach. My coach said a lot of schools called in, so I'll find out once I'm home and talk to him."

Illinois was identified as one of the schools who would likely get involved early. The recent in-state push combined with the ability to use a playmaker with Isaac's size in Cubit's offense made a lot of sense. Isaac said Illinois didn't waste much time to throw their hat in the ring.

"Illinois was like one of the first schools to hit me up," he said. "I want to say almost the whole staff has been in contact with my family."

Other schools frequently appearing in the discussion are Northwestern, Michigan, and Notre Dame. It will be interesting to see if Notre Dame is a permitted destination for Isaac given that the Trojans play the Irish every year. However, given the circumstances, the Irish may have the green light to pursue the talented back.

Knowing that he would be faced with a strong amount of interest in a short period of time, Isaac already has a formative plan for how he wants to approach the second half of the transfer process, including a general timetable.

"I'm not going to rush it, but I want to know where I'm going to be next year and start working," he said. "There isn't a definite timeline but I want to get it done."

Isaac did say that his goal is to have his next school selected prior to the start of summer football practices so that he can get involved with his next team right from the start.

Until then, he wants to keep himself in top shape. He fully expects to make an immediate impact wherever he lands, and he is putting in the necessary work to make that happen.

"I'm hungry to be great."

Isaac already has training lined up with former teammates as well as athletic training facilities near his home. He wants to be as physically ready as he can be the first time he dons a new set of school colors on the turf this summer, saying "I'm ready to get to work. That's the only way you take spots."

Isaac is far more informed and educated about the process this time around, but he does know that his parents will be a big support through his decision-making process. And a big reason Isaac decided to come home was to be a bigger support to his mother, who is facing some hardships.

"My parents are going to help me make the best decision possible," he said. "Obviously these aren't the circumstances I'd like to come home on, but it is what it is."

Isaac's parents made a majority of his games while he was at USC, but this move should bring he and his parents closer together in more than just the geographic sense.

Stay tuned here on SCOUT for the latest on Isaac as he makes his way through the transfer process and eventually selects the next place he calls "home."

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