5-Star RB Ty Isaac: Breaking Down the Advantages of Michigan and USC
Ty Isaac is a 5-star RB prospect at 6'2'" and 220 pounds. From Illinois, Isaac has great speed and elusiveness, quick to and through holes and can also factor heavily in the passing game due to great hands.
Pretty much every major college football program has offered Isaac a scholarship, but conventional wisdom says this is a two-horse race that is between Michigan and USC.
For this read, let's just break down some factors and advantages of both schools in Isaac's recruitment.
Incoming Recruiting Class
For the Trojans, currently, they hold five commitments, with two being 5-star players. Isaac would be joining a smaller class, but he'd be the only RB in the haul, and the class as a whole will likely still be of great quality.
Boy, the Wolverines are dominating right now on the recruiting trail. They have the best class in the nation right now, and as good as it is, Isaac could still be the headliner of the class. He'd definitely be coming with talent around him.
Chance to Win Championships
The Trojans play in the Pac-12 and are off their two-year bowl ban. Even though they are prime contenders for the national championship this year, the USC roster is loaded for multiple championship runs during Isaac's potential stay in Hollywood.
Michigan won the Sugar Bowl last year in a shocking overall season. With Urban Meyer now at Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State playing strong year in and year out and Nebraska now in the conference, there will be stiff competition to win the Big Ten.
They have produced two consecutive top-10 NFL draft picks on the OL and have strong core that will be there with Isaac. Players like Audrey Walker, Marcus Martin, Cyrus Hobbi, Zach Banner, Jordan Simmons and Max Tuerk are future studs on the Trojan OL.
Michigan's 2013 OL class is borderline ridiculous with players like Patrick Kugler, Chris Fox, Kyle Bosch, David Dawson and Logan Tulley-Tillman in the fold.
Last year, Kyle Kalis, Erik Magnuson and A.J. Williams were OL standouts who signed with Big Blue.
Running Back Depth Chart
The Trojans' depth chart is so bare, that Isaac would help USC if he came and played this year. He's sorely needed as Tre Madden was even moved to RB in the spring, and he tore his ACL. Isaac likely would get early playing time at USC.
DeVeon Smith is the only RB in the Michigan class this year, but they signed two last year. Michigan also took two rock toters in 2011 and another two in 2010, so there's some depth in Ann Arbor. Yet, in reality, Isaac would immediately be the most talented RB on the team if he signed with Big Blue.
At Troy, Isaac would be under the tutelage of Kennedy Polamalu and Lane Kiffin. Polamalu is one of the best RB coaches in the biz, and Kiffin knows how to use playmakers and get them the ball. Isaac couldn't go wrong here, as USC is notorious for churning out elite RBs.
Isaac would play for Brady Hoke and would work under Al Borges and Fred Jackson. Jackson has been at Michigan for over 20 years and has churned out five All-Big Ten running backs. Borges knows how to play to a player's strengths and is a solid play-caller.
The Trojans run a true pro-style offense that's exactly what you would see in the NFL. They mix their blocking style between zone and traditional man assignments, will use a lead blocker and have some West Coast offensive principles in the passing game.
The Wolverines have reverted back to a more traditional offense under Al Borges, who has referred to the system as a "Spread-West Coast" type of offense. Isaac would be used as a traditional running back, be able to attack downhill and would work well in Borges' scheme.
Advantage: USC, but it's almost a push.
Los Angeles is a long way away from Illinois, but Isaac does have family in Los Angeles. The distance could be a factor, but Isaac could feel that he needs to get out of the Midwest and Los Angeles could be the spot to begin a new chapter of his life.
Ann Arbor is only a few hours drive from where Isaac resides in Joliet, Illinois, and this could be prime real estate for him. He gets to stay in the Midwest, yet is far enough from home where he can be on his own and experience the "college life." It's the best of both worlds in reality.
Conclusion and Prediction
Based on this study, Michigan has four advantages to USC's three. Each advantage is pretty close for each program, but I think it's going to come down to distance.
Even though Isaac has tripped to USC twice and brought his mother along with him last week to Los Angeles, I think Michigan wins this one by a very close margin.
Edwin Weathersby has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League.
He spent a year evaluating prep prospects and writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (now ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.