It's been a somewhat frustrating fall for Greenbelt (Md.) Eleanor Roosevelt left tackle Isaiah Prince. Not only is his team 3-4 and likely out of the Maryland state playoff race, but the 6-foot-6, 270-pounder played just one half before going down with a season-ending injury.
During Roosevelt's very first game, Prince was lined up at defensive end and was chopped blocked by a Gwynn Park offensive tackle. Prince's ankle took the brunt of the hit, and when the big man tried to get up he couldn't put any pressure on it.
"I knew it was more than a sprain at that point," Prince said. "And after the game I went to the doctors and they confirmed it was broken. It hurt, and it's been tough, but I'm getting over it. I'll be back."
Prince anticipates returning to full strength by December. He said he spends a few days a week rehabbing and the rest of his time either doing schoolwork or being a pseudo coach.
"I lift the first hour of practice, and then after that I'm out there just helping guys the best I can," Prince said. "I help with learning the plays, better technique, stuff like that."
Prince said the injury hasn't affected his recruiting at all. He picked up a Tennessee verbal a few weeks ago and now claims offers from the likes of Maryland, Florida, Penn State, Temple and Virginia. Moreover, staffs such as Rutgers, Pittsburgh and Auburn have been in close contact.
So far, though, his hometown school is the only one he's familiar with.
"Maryland is the only school I've seen so far," Prince said. "I haven't visited anywhere else, but I do plan to. There's a lot of schools I want to reach out to. Florida State, Auburn, Penn State, Florida - those are some I want to check out."
The Roosevelt tackle said he's been in fairly consistent contact with his recruiter, Mike Locksley, either via social media or in person during Terps game. Indeed, Pricne has been to three games at Byrd Stadium this year and has become quite familiar with the program that offered him back during the summer.
"It's been fun over there," said Prince, who wasn't able to make the Maryland-Clemson game because Roosevelt played at the same time. "I was just at the Virginia game and the atmosphere was nice, and the team fought hard. I like the way [Maryland] fights. And I think Coach Edsall is cool; he's someone you can talk to and know as more than just a coach."
Prince added that Locksley has been harping on the benefits of staying home for college, continuing the them of keeping the area's best local recruits in Maryland.
"The message has been the same," Prince said. "[Locksley] is just trying to convince me that home is the best option for me. He's a good guy; he's cool to talk to."
Back in 2013, Maryland signed Prince's former teammate, Shawn Petty. But Maryland's sophomore linebacker hasn't said too much to Prince about the Terps … yet.
"Shawn, I see him at Roosevelt games when he comes back," Prince said. "But we don't really talk about colleges or anything. I know he likes it there, though."
Right now, though, Maryland is sitting at 5-2 and coming off a loss to Wake Forest. But Prince said that hasn't affected his perception of the school.
"Overall I actually think Maryland is doing pretty good," Prince said. "I think they bounced back good against Clemson and showed they could compete. They're going to be alright."
But while it seems the Terps are right in the thick of things, it's still very early in Prince's recruitment. Don't be surprised if he drags out his decision until next Signing Day.
"I'll be making my choice next winter after I take officials," Prince said. "There's a long way to go for me."
Isaiah Prince Talks Timelines
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