It’s time for our annual season top 10! Each summer, the staff votes on its top 10 players ahead of the upcoming season. A first place vote is worth 10 points, second place is worth nine points, and so on.
How He Got Here
A former Top 100 recruit, Isaac committed to Penn State back on December 17, 2019 to the surprise of no one — all 15 247Sports “Crystal Ball” predictions were in favor of the Nittany Lions landing the New York City product.
While Isaac didn’t see a ton of time during his first season on campus in 2019, he impressed enough to do away with the redshirt season, appearing in 11 games for the Nittany Lions. Over those 11 games, Isaac flashed during his limited snaps, finishing his freshman season with 3 TFLs and 1.5 sacks — not a shabby start for the highly-touted frosh.
Expected to play a larger role in 2020 — being the main backup behind Jayson Oweh and Shaka Toney — Isaac ended up having a quieter year than most had hoped for. He played in all nine games, but finished with just 1.5 sacks, far from the breakout campaign that some “genius” bloggers predicted.
What to Expect in 2021
Let’s be honest: Isaac taking the No. 10 spot in this poll is largely about potential. As was the hope last year, Isaac has all the tools to be an All-Big Ten defensive end. Solid size at 6-foot-4, 248 pounds. Plus athleticism to go along with a repertoire of pass rush move. The differences between last year and this year?
- The whole “the team didn’t really have an offseason and had wonky practice sessions” thing is kind of an important one to note.
- Isaac isn’t expected to be a valuable backup — he’s expected to be a starter.
So a big year for Isaac is upcoming. If Penn State is at where it hopes to be at come late-October (that is being undefeated going into the Horseshoe), you can bet that Isaac is going to have to have a career season.