Reports on the recruitment of Joliet (IL) Catholic RB, Ty Isaac have been sparse in recent days. That is by design. With the pressure mounting to make the biggest decision of his life to date, the talented youngster took measures to relieve some of it. Between correspondences with coaches and the seemingly exponential increase in the number of calls requesting recruiting interviews, Isaac decided to call a timeout.
“I understand that it's reporters’ job to get (interviews), but at the same time it’s my process,” he explained. “At the end of the day it’s between me, my family, and the coaches… and it just kind of gets (exhausting) when you get the same people calling constantly. I understand that (the calls) are part of that process, but being that this one is mine, I can eliminate that part of it. I’ve tried to, but it’s tough. I get calls from people not even affiliated (with recruiting networks).”
“If it’s something really notable, I’ll let the right (reporters) know,” he continued. “Besides, a lot of the stuff I get calls on… these check-ups in recruiting… I feel like they’re pointless anyway because I’m going to tell them the same thing I told them the last time they did a check-up.”
Isaac’s new approach is a tact being taken by a growing number of prospects. Initially they find the multiple interview requests fun, and even flattering. But as the requests pile up thanks to the easy access to youngsters provided by Facebook and Twitter, some are beginning to take the understandable step of being more selective about whom they talk to and when they talk. Maintaining their sanity is the primary motivation. Accountability is another. With so many vehicles delivering recruiting information these days, it’s often hard to pinpoint the genesis of false info. Case in point… the oft-mentioned rumor that Isaac prefers to be the only running back in whatever class he opts to join.
“I tell people all of the time that I don’t care (about how many backs my suitors recruit),” the five-star runner insisted. “If that was the case I might as well be going play somewhere that’s really small, that’s not bringing in a lot of players. If I’m afraid to compete with someone in my class, how am I going to compete with someone older or younger than me?”
“Competition makes you better. If you don’t have someone behind you pushing you to be better, you might get sloppy. If I’m the only back in the class, yeah that’s cool with me… but if I’m not, it’s not a turnoff and I’m not scared of it. I would expect people to be disappointed in me if I was talking like that. As a coach if I heard somebody say that, I’d understand. But at the same time, to me that sounds like you’re scared of competition.”
Fear isn’t even remotely the emotion elicited in Isaac in the face of challenges. Lest we forget, he did share a backfield with two other division one tailbacks as a sophomore (Josh Ferguson and Malin Jones), and split time with one last year (Jones). Simply put, there is no precedent for a reluctance to compete. Legitimate criteria that actually will factor into his decision -- like style of play, comfort with the coaching staff and players, and academics -- are being thoroughly vetted during his many campus visits. Isaac’s most recent trip was a return to Michigan. The time in Ann Arbor only served to strengthen the positive impressions that were forged during prior stops.
“We went in and got to really to talk with the coaches,” said Isaac. “I know where I stand 100% with that staff. I’m definitely really comfortable with them and I like them a lot. It’s just that I’ve had this USC trip planned. It’s somewhere I’ve wanted to visit. I want to (visit) everywhere that I think I might want to be. Then I’ll be able to sit down and say, ‘This is what I want to do’ instead of making a decision without doing some things that I want and then having that kind of wavering feeling.”
It’s a stance that Isaac’s suitors, including Michigan, understand. Even recruits like Shane Morris that have made luring him into their respective classes are giving Isaac the necessary space to breathe.
“(Shane) is cool and we speak, but I think at the end of the day we’ve all been through it, so I know he and the rest of the recruits respect the process,” Isaac stated. “Of course it’s his school and he is going to want me to commit there, just like wherever I go to school I’m going to want the next guy to commit… but it’s not that overbearing pressure.”
Next, Isaac turns his attention to his long planned trip to USC. He will set out for “the Land of Troy” next Thursday, before returning home the following Sunday.