High-SchoolFootball: Ty Isaac
June, 4, 2012
By Jon Mahoney | ESPN.com
Tom Hauck/ESPNHSJoliet Catholic (Joliet, Ill.) running back and USC commit Ty Isaac, the No. 68 recruit in the ESPN 150, received one of five invitations to The Opening at the Champaign NFTC.When it came time for Ty Isaac to make his commitment, the Joliet Catholic (Joliet, Ill.) running back didn’t want any bells and whistles.
So no hats in front of a table, no fancy props and certainly no televised announcement.
Instead, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound junior called the coaches from USC and Michigan — the two schools he was considering — and then announced his commitment to the Trojans via Twitter.
That’s about as Hollywood as the low-key Isaac would go with his pledge. He’d rather make his noise on the field.
He's made plenty of it during his junior year. Rated the nation’s No. 68 recruit in the ESPN 150, Isaac earned ESPNHS Underclass All-American honors this past fall after rushing for 2,629 yards and scoring 51 touchdowns. His best game of the season came in the Class 5A state final against Montini (Lombard, Ill.) when he rushed for a state-title game record 515 yards and six scores, though Joliet Catholic lost 70-45.
And on Sunday, he earned an invitation to The Opening with a stellar performance at the Champaign Nike Football Training Camp.
Now that his commitment is out of the way, Isaac took some time to talk about his decision, preparing for his senior season and comparisons to Marcus Allen.
Get Familiar with one of the nation’s top running backs.
ESPNHS: How much of a relief is it to have your college decision out of the way?
Isaac: It’s huge. You don’t have to worry about 100 phone calls or texts asking you about what you want to do. It was getting to be a lot. It really started the end of my freshman year. I felt like I was so far along in the process that I was ready.
ESPNHS: What led you to pick USC?
Isaac: I like the staff, I like the players, the people around the program and obviously the whole school. It’s nice to be able to focus on my team now.
ESPNHS: What made you announce on Twitter and not make a big deal about your commitment?
Isaac: It’s not my style. I don’t like that kind of stuff. I like to be under the radar.
ESPNHS: You ended up making an impact on varsity as a freshman. Did you feel any pressure that year considering your dad used to be a star player at the school? (Note: Isaac’s father caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the 1987 Class 5A state final.)
Isaac: It taught me how to work. When you’re up on varsity, everyone is held to a higher standard. I felt a little pressure, but you just have to go out and make a name for yourself.
ESPNHS: How tough was it to take that loss in the state final?
Isaac: It was rough because we were in it the whole way. Then it just broke down. We have to take care of this season. That last game taught us how much harder we have to work. You learn from it and hopefully we’ll be a lot better off this season.
ESPNHS: What do you think of the comparisons to Marcus Allen?
Isaac: There’s no pressure. A lot of high school players are compared to somebody. But at the end of the day, you’re going to go out and build your own legacy.
ESPNHS: Who do you credit the most for getting you to this point?
Isaac: My dad. He’s taught me how to handle myself and take care of my business. He taught me there’s more to life than football. You have to take care of your academics. You’ve got to have a degree. You’re not going to go anywhere without one.
School: Joliet Catholic (Joliet, Ill.)
Position: Running back
TV Show: “Pardon the Interruption”
Musical Artist: YG
Athlete: Russell Westbrook
Team: San Francisco 49ers
School Subject: History
March, 28, 2012
By Doug Huff | ESPN.com
Scott Powers/ESPNChicago.comWheaton Warrenville South (Wheaton, Ill.) loses star running back Dan Vitale, but the Tigers return a number of other top performers to make some national rankings noise.During the offseason, we’ll check out one team per week that looks like a sure bet to be among the best in the nation in the fall.
FAB 50 Offseason Primer Archive
This week’s team: Wheaton Warrenville South (Wheaton, Ill.)
2011 Season: 10-4, Class 7A state finalist
Projected 2012 Preseason Ranking: Top 35. The Tigers rebounded well after a 1-3 start, but their quest for a third consecutive state championship was thwarted by unbeaten Boylan (Rockford, Ill.) in last year’s 7A title game. With two state titles and a runner-up finish in the past three years, Wheaton Warrenville South is buoyed in the FAB 50 by that track record of success. In 2010, the Tigers finished No. 13 in the rankings after winning the second of their back-to-back championships.
Team Strengths: The 2010 title team was senior-dominated, which made last season's state runner-up finish an unexpected surprise. The Tigers will field a more experienced squad in 2012. Injuries forced the team to use three quarterbacks last season, and two of them will return in the fall: sophomores Ryan Graham (6-2, 180) and Jordan Davis (6-2, 185). Graham saw time on the varsity squad during the regular season, while Davis was an emergency starter in the playoffs after starting for the sophomore team all fall. Replacing senior running back Dan Vitale will be the No. 1 task on offense. The Northwestern recruit rushed for 1,340 yards and 17 scores in 2011. The good news is that Vitale was running behind an offensive line made up entirely of juniors, so whoever takes his place will be running behind an experienced unit. Junior Corey Davis (6-3, 195) will also be back at wide receiver. There are questions on the defensive side of the ball, but overall the Tigers appear poised once again to challenge for a state crown.
Another Illinois team to watch: Joliet Catholic (Joliet, Ill.) was 11-3 last season and finished as Class 5A state runner-up to Montini in a wild 70-45 finale, the highest scoring title game in state history. ESPNU 150 Watch List member Ty Isaac will be back after a junior season in which he rushed for 2,629 yards, including 515 in the title game defeat. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound bruiser will be joined in the backfield by junior quarterback Craig Slowik. The Hilltoppers will be seeking an unprecedented 14th state crown, including a seventh for coach Dan Sharp.
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