Columbus (OH) Harvest Prep defensive end Isaiah Mullens committed to Wisconsin over a top group of Iowa, Louisville, Rutgers and Toledo. He also had a number of offers from the Mid-American Conference.
Mullens is currently a three-star prospect and the No.59 defensive end in the country by Scout.com.
A big framed prospect who has played standing up and on the edge, Mullens has plenty of room to continue to grow and is already a good sized kid. For being a bigger guy, he is light on his feet and moves with good overall fluidity and athleticism. He is more agile than he is explosive or sudden. He can get inside quickly and sidestep blockers. Overpowers blockers in high school, but must play with more consistent pad level to do the same come college.
College recruiters often speak of the eye test in observing future prospects. Mullens passed that test during his sophomore year at the Best of the Midwest combine in Indianapolis in February 2016. By that June, based in part of his camp performances, Akron, Iowa State, Miami (OH), Toledo and Youngstown State all offered him and many Power-Five schools started picking up the dialogue.
Roughly a year after Mullens first caught people’s eye, he got his first Big Ten offer from Wisconsin.
“Getting the offer from Wisconsin was amazing," Mullens stated. “Coach (Inoke Breckterfield) is a very cool guy, and he just said to me did I know I had the Wisconsin offer? I said I did not, and he told me I definitely did, so I thanked him for the opportunity.”
Visiting schools like Michigan State and West Virginia impressed him, even though they didn’t offer, but it was his visit to Wisconsin this past spring that convinced him that the Badgers were the perfect place for him.
“When I visited there for the first time I met Coach Chryst, just touring the campus, it felt like home,” Mullens said. “The players were awesome. They loved playing for the coaches. The atmosphere was just amazing. Even with all these offers pouring in, Wisconsin was always in the back of my head.”
Mullens announced a week ago that his top five of Iowa, Louisville, Rutgers, Toledo and Wisconsin, but he admitted the Badgers were in the clear driver’s seat. He didn’t wait long to pull the trigger, knowing he had found his perfect school and was ready to turn his attention to his senior high school season.
Sitting at 10 scholarship players in a class with an unofficial capacity of 14, Wisconsin’s coaching staff has done another excellent job of identifying talent early, aggressive recruiting that talent and getting the bulk of their recruiting class done by the end of spring.
After taking only De Pere (WI) High defensive end Aaron Vopal on scholarship last season, Breckterfield talked about his desire to add three defensive linemen in the class – two ends and one critical nose tackle. With Kimberly (WI) High end Boyd Dietzen committing in February, it appears the Badgers are done at the end position.
There are a handful of defensive ends that Scout lists with an offer, but it appears the Badgers are recruiting them as outside linebackers. One players to watch is Woodbury (MN) Senior David Alston was just extended an offer and has the Badgers high on his list. Another is Plantation (FL) American Heritage Andrew Andrew Chatfield, who visited the Badgers in April and has them on his radar with many other top-notch schools.
“As soon as I told Coach Breckterfield (I was committing), he was flipping out, yelling, screaming. It was just so funny, yelling ‘Yes! Yes!’” - Mullens
Mullens appears to be a solid package for Wisconsin on and off the field. Without being in a college weight lifting program, he’s been clocked running a 5.0 40-yard dash, a 4.86 in the shuttle and a 25.3-inch vertical jump. In the weight room he can bench over 400 pounds and squat over 500 pounds. In the classroom, Mullens carries a 3.8 grade point average.
Watching his film, Mullens appears to be a perfect fit for what Wisconsin wants to do schematically. His high school team runs basically the same 3-4 scheme and, with a little bit of coaching and development, will give him a full boat of confidence down the road.
“I believe I’m a pretty good fit there,” Mullens said. “They’ve told me I’ll be a really good fit (and) I’m a really special kid. I believed them. Seeing their defensive scheme seem similar to ours, this seems like a gold mine. All these other schools run all these different types of defenses that are really confusing. Wisconsin is perfect for me.”