- Jon Mahoney, ESPNHS.com
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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
1121dMark Tennis & Doug Huff