It is a well known fact that the stress and constant media attention from being one of the most highly sought after college football recruits in the country has taken a heavy toll on 4-star running back Ty Isaac (Joliet, IL), which is why he decided to end his recruitment Tuesday afternoon by verbally committing to the University of Southern California.
"I just feel really happy and excited," Isaac told EdgyTim.com shortly after his commitment became public knowledge. "It just feels great to finally have my decision made and announced. It's a decision I didn't take lightly and I really gave it a lot of consideration. I just feel like I can move forward now and not worry about recruiting anymore."
Isaac had offers from upwards of 20 major college football programs, but his recruitment essentially came down to a battle between the USC Trojans and the Michigan Wolverines.
The nation's No. 2 running back and No. 18 overall prospect, according to Rivals.com, would have given Michigan's 2013 recruiting class something it is still missing, a speedy running back with enough durability to be an every-down player in the Big Ten conference.
Michigan's two current commits are Deveon Smith (Warren, OH) and Wyatt Shallman (Novi, MI), who both lack breakaway speed but are extremely powerful backs and have a chance to be productive in short yardage situations for the Wolverines down the road.
The Joliet Catholic Academy star brought a rare combination of power and speed to the table. With his 6'3" and 215-pound frame along with his ability to outrun opposing secondaries, Isaac would have made a perfect fit in Michigan's transition to a true pro-style offense over the next few seasons.
So now that Isaac is off the table for Michigan, what other running backs will the Wolverines turn their attention to over the next few months?
The most similar running back to Isaac is 4-star Hermitage High School standout, Derrick Green (Richmond, VA), who has put up sub 4.40 second 40-yard dash times and has the size to run over opposing defenders at 6'0" and 215-pounds.
Green is the nation's No. 64 overall prospect and the No. 6 ranked player at his position and enjoyed an unofficial visit to Michigan in mid-March.
The trip to Ann Arbor gave Green an opportunity to see the campus, however he did not get a chance to meet head coach Brady Hoke, which Green hopes to do on his return trip to Michigan this summer.
With Green's timetable nowhere near ending, the Wolverines will have a chance to take a closer look at another 4-star running back and Rivals250 prospect, Jordan Wilkins (Cordova, TN), who also plans on visiting Michigan this summer.
Wilkins, who is the nation's No. 209 overall prospect, will also be making trips to Ohio State, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Alabama and Auburn in order to gather enough information about the respective programs to begin trimming his list of schools.
"Right now I'm just taking everything in and keeping my options open," Wilkins said. "I'm going to be very busy this summer. I don't want to make a decision until after next football season. I want to be 100 percent sure of my decision when I make it."
If Michigan is unable to secure a commitment from Green or Wilkins, the Wolverines may begin to seriously consider 3-star running back Berkley Edwards (Chelsea, MI), whose brother Braylon starred as a wide receiver at Michigan in the early 2000s.
Berkley's father, Stan Edwards, played fullback at Michigan as well, which gives the Chelsea High School standout extremely deep ties to the school.
The only offers Edwards holds at the moment are from Minnesota and five Mid-American Conference programs, however teams such as Michigan State and Wisconsin have begun to take an interest in the 5'9", 189-pounder.
Which talented running back winds up filling Michigan's third scholarship at the position in their 2013 class is anyone's guess at this point. The mystery is not likely to come to a conclusion until it gets closer to National Signing Day in February.
Zach Dirlam is the Lead Editor of the College Basketball section as well as Big Ten columnist for the FOX Sports/MSN/YardBarker affiliate website Sports at Work. Check out his blog, Dirlam’s Dirty Dugout Sports Blog, which features this story, along with other articles and video reports on major sports.
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