Isaac Johnston began playing football in youth leagues in Morgantown while his father, Chad, was doing his residency as a dermatologist. Chad, a WVU quarterback from 1993-96, got involved with his son's football development early.
"He started playing early in the city leagues," Chad said, detailing his son's beginnings on the football field. "He actually started off playing tackle, and I helped out with coaching. After we moved, he began to play quarterback in the eight grade, and I kept working with him. I gave him a lot of stuff to handle as far as reading and recognizing defenses went. I've followed him through his career, and moved up when he moved up, so that has been very good for me."
Isaac is likewise happy with the fortunes that have allowed his fater to work with him on the football field. While some parent\child relationships of this sort don't work out, Isaac notes that there haven't been any problems.
"It's been great to be coached by my dad. I've always listened to him, and I've learned a lot from him. I actually watched a video that he has of one of his entire seasons at WVU, and that was cool. I was able to watch and see what he saw and learn from that.
Now living near Blacksburg, Va., where Chad has an established practice and Isaac will be a junior this fall at Blacksburg High, the Johnstons haven't gotten too much static from the hometown Hokie fans for their WVU ties. Chad explains it away with a laugh, noting that WVU dropped games to Tech while he was in school. Instead, there's more attention focused on Isaac's play at Blacksburg High.
"Over the last year or so, we have been watching games and really dissecting them," Chad noted. "When Isaac started playing quarterback in the eight grade I had an idea of what he could do, but he's taller and bigger than me now. He has the size (210 pounds) and I think he understand the game and sees things really well. I think he's ahead in his development of where I was at the same time."
Isaac echoes that assessment of his strengths, and while those don't get the chance to be on display at many combines, he felt he did well at the recent event.
"I was sort of just feeling things out when I got there, and we did a lot of one-on-ones and 7-on7, so I just tried to compete. I got some coaching tips - they worked with my grip and mechanics a little bit, so that was good. I think I showed them I know where to go with the ball and how to deal with different situations."
Johnston hasn't gotten much into recruiting yet, but when he does, West Virginia will be very high on his interest list. With his Morgantown background and his father's alumni status, he is very familiar with the Mountaineer program, and hopes that WVU is one school that will be interested in him as well.