By Jerry Del Priore
Former Canarsie High School football standout Adisa Isaac has impressed the Penn State University powers that be through the first three games of the young college 2019 season.
But, in 2018, the NCAA adopted new rules regarding redshirt status that increased roster flexibility and dramatically altered the future outlook for freshmen throughout college football. Players can now compete in up to four games within a season without using a year of eligibility.
The Nittany Lions entered the campaign expecting to burn redshirts for seven freshmen, including Isaac, according to 247sports.com.
The six-foot-four, 241-pound defensive end, however, has played well, registering his first two career tackles in a Week 2 win over Buffalo University.
With that being said, the Brooklyn native and listed third-squad option might be saved for a later game when injuries to other players become an issue, per Penn State coaching staff.
Isaac, who played high school basketball as well, was unstoppable as a Canarsie Chief senior, making 34 tackles for loss and 25 sacks — a Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) single-season record. Many high school sports media outlets considered him New York State’s premier college football recruit, and an overall four-star player coming out of the Brooklyn school.
Asides from Issac’s vastly developing gridiron physical abilities, the Nittany Lions coaching staff loves his football acumen. But it seems as if he’ll be a valuable Penn State Football cough sometime in the future, not this season, though.
“He’s done a great job of picking up the playbook, understanding the playbook, and really has probably picked it up as quick at that position as any end that I’ve had,” Penn State defensive line coach Sean Spencer said this month. “Just understanding where he is in the defense, I’m impressed by that. Moving forward, I think this guy is going to be a special player for us one day.”
For now, we’ll have to take a wait-and-see approach with Issac.