Jacob Isaia landed one of Michigan State’s newest offers for 2018 recruits, and he has ties to East Lansing that date back to the early 1960s. He’s the grandson of legendary Spartan, Bob Apisa, who led MSU’s 1965 and 1966 National Championship teams. So, the kid who was raised on Michigan State now has a Spartan offer of his own.
“It’s amazing; it’s a great feeling. I’m glad I have an offer from Michigan State,” Isaia, whose last name is actually pronounced “Ease-eye-uh,” told Spartan Nation. “But, at the same time, it proves to me that my hard work is paying off, and I just have to keep on working and hopefully more will come.”
Other than Michigan State, Jacob, a 6’3”, 260-pound offensive guard from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, NV, also has an offer from BYU, and has interest from UCLA, Florida State, USC, Colorado, Washington and Washington State. Even though he’s not close to making a decision yet, it’s his grandfather’s blessing that indicated Michigan State wasn’t the one and only choice.
“I feel like Grandpa telling me that helps me make a better choice and relieves pressure that I don’t have to go to Michigan State,” Isaia admitted. “Now that he’s saying, ‘It’s up to you, it’s your choice,’ I feel like I don’t have to hold this burden or disappoint Grandpa if I choose a different school.”
But that statement certainly doesn’t mean he wouldn’t want to be in East Lansing.
“I’ve been there a lot. I’ve been to the stadium and I’ve been to the athletic facility, too. But I like the community, I like that it’s a great fan base over there. I’ve heard a lot about what they do, and it’s pretty amazing,” Isaia said.
“I’m grateful that the community has loved Grandpa and taken care of him,” he continued. “If I commit there or if I want to go there, I just hope they treat me the same.”
As you can see, Jacob’s grandfather plays an enormous roll in his life, both in football and in general.
“I’m grateful that I get to see him a lot and I also get to speak with him on the phone. He helps me steer my life and helps me make the right choices. He helps me, especially with the next level,” Isaia explained.
That love and admiration goes both ways between Jacob and his Grandpa.
“Jacob’s a great football player, and I’m so proud of him for how hard he’s worked; he’s really worked hard…it makes me proud,” Apisa said to Spartan Nation in 2016. “But I’m more proud of the young man he is…that’s where my pride really is. I couldn’t be prouder as a grandfather to have him, and who he is, as a grandson.”
Noticeably at a loss for words after hearing that, Isaia responded, “I’m just so grateful to have someone like him that’s been at the next level, and has been to Hollywood. He’s seen starts in both areas, and to tell me that he’s proud of me and that he’s grateful that I’m his grandson, it’s just so great. I can’t even explain it.”
If you’re curious, after his playing days, in which he was the first All-American of Samoan descent, Bob Apisa went on to a successful career as an actor and a stuntman. Last July, he debuted the documentary he directed and produced, ‘Men Of Sparta,’ which tells the story of the 1965 and 1966 National Championship teams he was a part of, at the Traverse City Film Festival.
As for Jacob, he urges us not to expect a decision on where he’ll play and attend college before the deadline.
“I’m just going to tell you straight up…I’m not going to commit early. I do want to take my five official visits and I do want to narrow it down, but I’m just going to wait.”
So, we have some time before we figure out where this exciting kid, who grew up a Michigan State fan, will go. But keep in mind…he’s always had Spartan Nation running through his blood!