Is Rutgers ready to offer Woodbridge star?

The Woodbridge (N.J.) High product was getting ready to attend Junior Day when a last-second phone call sent him somewhere else. However, he knows plenty about the school since he has been there at least a half-dozen times, and says the Scarlet Knights "want to offer me a scholarship." Find out what he thinks about his state university, and who else is recruiting him.

Minutes before he was to leave for Rutgers' Junior Day, Woodbridge (N.J.) High's Max Issaka got a call from his wrestling coach, telling him his presence was unexpectedly needed at a dual meet.

So, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound defensive end called the Scarlet Knights coaching staff to say he wouldn't make their event because his wrestling coach talked him into competing. His team needed him, so his latest trip to Rutgers would have to wait.

And Issaka was assured his absence wouldn't affect the way the Scarlet Knights viewed him. "Three schools want to offer me a scholarship,'' Issaka said. "Rutgers, Central Florida and Syracuse all said they want to offer me.''

Issaka said he is also being recruited by Miami, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Purdue and West Virginia, although there is a varied viewpoint on where he will play in college.

Some schools want him as a defensive end, others as a linebacker. There are also discussions about him playing a hybrid role, as a defensive end who can drop back into coverage.

"I think I could settle on one position,'' Issaka said. "Whatever makes the team win, I'm good at it. It doesn't matter to me. I can't even decide.''

Issaka also plays tight end, but colleges are recruiting him for his defensive ability. He made 58 tackles and had six sacks for the Barrons.

Even though Issaka missed the junior day, he plans on making the short trip to Rutgers for an unofficial visit in the near future to catch up on what he missed. He also plans on traveling to UConn shortly, and possibly Louisville for Junior Day.

"I would have been my sixth or seventh time going to (Rutgers), but I'm sorry I couldn't go,'' Issaka said. "It was a split decision on wrestling or going to Junior Day. I made it by two minutes to get weighed in for the match.''

Alas, Woodbridge lost the wrestling to Middlesex.


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