Brandon Isaac Is Ready For Big Year

Senior Brandon Isaac spent most of last season playing in the shadow of Ko Simpson, but this year he will have his chance to shine. In this GamecockAnthem interview, Isaac explains why he believes the 2006 defense will actually be better than last year.

Question: You've got some big shoes to fill this season with the departure of Ko Simpson. How will you approach this year?

Answer: "I just plan to go out and start competing and doing what I do best. Ko Simpson was an outstanding player here, and I'm not looking to really fill his shoes. I'm just looking to play my role and be the best player I can be."

Question: What are your expectations for the secondary this year, especially after losing Ko Simpson and Jon Joseph after last season?

Answer: "We lost two outstanding players in J-Jo (Jon Joseph) and Ko Simson, but this year I'm just looking to go out, compete, have a good time, and do what makes me me."

Question: What are your strengths as a player, and are there any areas you would like to improve on?

Answer: "My strengths are that I'm good at finding the ball. I have good speed where I can cover ground. I can cover receivers pretty well. The thing I want to improve on is reading the play action better - knowing when they run, when they pass, when to get back, and when to field. I think if I improve that, then I'll be a better player than I was last year."

Question: What are your thoughts on some of the younger players that will contribute in the secondary this year?

Answer: "Carlos (Thomas) is young, but he has tremendous talent. He's a good player, and I'm looking forward to him having a breakout year. The young recruits that came in this summer have been dedicated and came in working hard. We're looking forward to the season and having a great year in the secondary."

Question: What will be the biggest difference between this year's defense and the 2005 unit?

Answer: "Our defensive front has made a commitment to come out this year, lose weight, and get it right. Last year they didn't get much penetration up front, therefore the safeties had to make a lot of tackles, but this year we're looking for the defensive line to make plays up front. At linebacker, Jasper Brinkley came in from junior college, and he's a really good athlete. I think with all that, we'll do good this year."

Question: How much more comfortable are you heading into your second year at Carolina?

Answer: "I'm very comfortable. In spring ball, I didn't participate (due to injury), but that gave me the opportunity to go study the playbook and learn more about what I need to do to improve myself. This spring I did that, and I know just about everything I need to do and what the other players do, so I'm more comfortable in the system and the way we work and how everything operates. So I'm looking forward to this year."

Question: What is the one area that the defense would like to improve in the most this season?

Answer: "Last year we were weak on third downs, and it hurt us tremendously. This year our goal is to go out and get off the field in three plays - three plays and three out. A lot of times (last season) we didn't do well until they got down into scoring position, so we want to stop them early and give our offense the opportunity to do the things that they do."

Question: What are your thoughts on Tyrone Nix as a coach, and will the defensive system be any different this year?

Answer: "I think the system will be a little different. He (Tyrone Nix) is dedicated to his job and what he does. Football it seems like is just his everything, and he puts a lot into it. He expects a lot out of us, so therefore we expect to give him a lot because of what he gives us. So I think we'll do wonderful this year."

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories