Switching his commitment to Maryland from Boston College was "the most difficult decision" Andrew Isaacs said he's made in his life. He had a good relationship with the Eagles' coaching staff, thought the team was filled with "great guys," and liked the fact that Chestnut Hill is less than two hours away from his Manchester, Conn., home.
"That was one of the schools that stuck with me after my [ACL tear junior year]," Isaacs said. "A lot of schools don't want to recruit anyone injured. That really stuck with me. … [But] I just felt that I had a better opportunity at Maryland. Maryland was just a better fit for me. I had to make that switch, as hard as it was. I built a good relationship with the coaches up there, but ultimately making the switch was best for me."
Isaacs, a four-star prospect and the No. 1 prospect in Connecticut according to Rivals.com, made that switch in August. He cited Maryland's broadcast journalism program as the biggest reason for his decision, in addition to an opportunity to play early. The Terps graduated Matt Furstenberg, Devonte Campbell and Ryan Schlothauer, leaving Isaacs to compete with Dave Stinebaugh, P.J. Gallo and Daniel Adams for playing time.
"It's a level playing field," Isaacs said. "It matters how hard I work and how much better I get. It's all up to me. They can't promise playing time, but they can promise that I'm going to have the opportunity to compete. As a player, that's all you can ask for."
After dominating Connecticut high school football, Isaacs said he's looking forward to joining the Terps and getting a taste of college competition.
"Sometimes [in high school] you just go through the motions because you know you're bigger and stronger and faster," Isaacs said. "Now it's going to be who outworks who. I'm excited to be in that environment where I can see how my work ethic matches up with the best."
Here's an introduction to Isaacs:
Name: Andrew Isaacs
Birthdate: Jan. 24, 1995
Birthplace: Hartford, Conn.
Hometown: Manchester, Conn.
Position: Tight end
High School: Manchester (Conn.) High
Senior statistics: 32 catches for 445 yards and five touchdowns. 10 sacks.
Rankings: Rivals.com – Four-star prospect, No. 1 player in Connecticut, No. 9 tight end. Scout.com – Three-star prospect, No. 28 tight end. ESPN.com – Three-star prospect, No. 8 player in Connecticut, No. 39 tight end, 70 rating. 247Sports.com – Three-star prospect, No. 1 player in Connecticut, No. 15 tight end, 89 rating.
Bench max: "We don't bench max, but my last one was probably 360."
40-yard dash: 4.8
Runner-up school: Rutgers
Other schools considered: "At first I was obviously committed to Boston College. Then it was really between Maryland, UConn and Rutgers, but I really liked Maryland the most."
Favorite NFL player: Vernon Davis
Favorite NFL team: "I don't really have a favorite team, but since I root for Vernon Davis, the 49ers."
Favorite all-time Terp: Vernon Davis
Favorite music: Wale, Kanye West
Favorite movie: "Remember the Titans"
Favorite book: "Monster" by Walter Dean Myers
Favorite TV show: "Family Guy"
Favorite food: Steak and lobster
Favorite high school class: Broadcast journalism
Other high school sports: "I played basketball my freshman and sophomore year. After that, I started focusing more on football. This spring I'm going to do track. I'm going to try to run, get my speed up. And they'll probably have me throw, too."
Hobbies: "Playing X-box, playing basketball at the Y, hanging out with friends, hanging out with my family. I really like hanging out with my family, watching movies and watching TV."
Intended major: "Broadcast journalism. That was actually a big reason why I committed to Maryland. They have a great school in that."
Something that not many people know about you: "I can draw. I can draw really good. A lot of people that I know can draw cartoons, but I like drawing athletes."
Best football moment: "My junior year, I tore my ACL against New Britain. This year, we're playing them and in the first quarter of the game, I score my first touchdown of the game and then I dunk the ball over the goalposts afterward. I was telling my coach all season that I wanted to dunk over the goalposts. I saw Vernon Davis miss, and I said, 'I'm going to make it.' That whole game, I wanted to do it. The play was a zone read, and then my quarterback just hit me over the top for a 5-yard touchdown. I snatched it over two people and just ran to the goalposts and dunked it. That would be my favorite play. Then, later in the game, I didn't drop the ball, but I think I ran the wrong route. Everyone was mad at me. On the very next series, as soon as they got the ball, the quarterback dropped back and I went to go sack him, but he started losing the ball. So I snatched the ball right back and ran 45 yards for another touchdown. Those would be my two favorite moments."
Role model: "My aunt. She is the most hard-working and smartest person I know. Sometimes to me it seems like she doesn't make sense, but she always knows what she's talking about. It's a struggle with her being a single parent raising me, her older son and her younger son. But she has to be my biggest inspiration and role model."
Why Maryland? "Obviously, first academically. I felt like it was the best school where I had a chance to further my broadcast knowledge. That's something that I'm really interested in. In our school, we have a [broadcast journalism] class. I need an extra class, and they threw me in a video class. I started thinking, 'If I don't play football, what do I want to do?' Being able to talk about football and sports is the best job in the world. You basically get paid to state your opinion on television. I asked my teachers, 'How do I get involved with that?' They said broadcast journalism. Being able to major in that is a major reason I liked Maryland. Then the fact that I have the opportunity to play very early, or even if not right away, then at least have an equal opportunity to compete. Playing time obviously affects that. And I just love the way they're getting better. Nobody is accepting failure. They're all ready to work. That's the environment I want to be around. … I want to be around guys that want to work and win as bad as I do. I don't think there's any better place for me than Maryland."