Scholarly Lineman Gets Offer

A big offensive lineman had an excellent visit to West Virginia over the weekend, and after receiving an offer from WVU, is "leaning heavily" toward the Mountaineers.

"The visit went very well," offensive lineman Greg Isdaner told "Coach Rod offered me a scholarship on Sunday, and I'm leaning heavily toward West Virginia now. I really enjoyed my visit a lot."

"Leaning heavily" opens the way for a lot of puns, as the massive Isdaner (6-4, 310 lbs., 5.3) is a road grading lineman who excels at run blocking. Earlier this summer, he noted that he is "a physical player and a mauler," which attracted the attention of offensive line coach Rick Trickett. Isdaner took an unofficial visit to WVU for the James Madison game, and the Mountaineers have been keeping an eye on him ever since.

West Virginia is the first Division 1A school to offer the big Pennsylvanian a scholarship, and that might be enough to sway the aggressive, yet thoughtful, lineman to the Mountain State.

"I'm looking at making a decision at some point this week," Isdaner said after returning from his trip. "I had a visit scheduled for Penn this weekend, but not sure about that now."

The scheduled trip to Penn isn't just a lark. Isdaner is being courted by several Ivy League and Atlantic 10 schools, and has offers from both the Quakers and Harvard. He's an excellent student who will major in the business field, and wants to go to a school that can provide him an excellent education as well as the chance to excel on the field.

Isdaner admits that there were some questions about academics at big Division 1 schools, but that those were answered on his official visit.

"My Dad came with me on the trip to WVU, and he had some questions about the academic side of things," Isdaner observed. "But in the end, he liked it. We met with people fom the honors program, and also with the assistant dean of the business school. We had good meetings with them, and we came away assured that we'd get a high quality education at West Virginia."

The focus wasn't all on academics, of course. Isdaner was hosted by offensive lineman Aaron Howell, and got to meet many of his potential future teammates.

"Aaron was my host, and he was a good guy. We hung out with a lot of the linemen. I enjoyed being with them. They are good guys, and they seem to want to get down to business and work hard. I like that.

"I also talked with Coach Trickett - he's a piece of work," Isdaner continued with a laugh. "He's obviously a great coach. You just look at some of the players he's coached and how many guys he put in the NFL. I like the way he coaches. When you have a guy on your butt all day, I think it makes you want to improve. You have to have that competitive fire."

Playing in a run-dominated offense at The Episcopal Academy, Isdaner also found time to work on his pass protection skills, which was one of his goals for his senior season.

"We ran the ball a lot," Isdaner explained. "We finished the season with more than 3000 yards on the ground. We didn't throw the ball much, but I found the time in practice to work on my pass protection, and I think it progressed pretty well. I worked on my knee bend and keeping my shoulders back."

Isdaner now looks to be in the decision-making phase, and it could come as early as this week.

"A lot of the decision is talking with my parents and figuring things out with them," said Isdaner, who seems to have an excellent grasp on the recruiting process. "Academics are a big factor, but I have to look at everything. I want to compete at the highest level possible, and I can get that at West Virginia. I really like the program there. It feels like a family environment."

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