Max Issaka staying home


Max Issaka had a bit of an odd recruitment. Between being from Middlesex County, and projecting as an undersized DE, it was a huge surprise that he originally committed to Pittsburgh. Back in August everyone involved tried to subtly deny all the rumors going around, while being careful not to disparage Rutgers. Woodbridge is as deep scarlet as New Jersey towns go, and in addition to all of that local pressure there were unfortunately some Rutgers fans taking shots at Max (and other former Pitt commits like Quinton Alston) on their Facebook pages. This is why you don't burn bridges, folks. It was always weird that Issaka seemed to be worried about being stuck as a tweener at Rutgers. If you go back and look at Greg Schiano's history over the past decade, there are a fair bit of linebackers who bulked up into ends (if not tackles). He's a phenomenal athlete (check out his junior highlights), the kind you usually see end up at programs like Virginia Tech. I bring that up because, between playing in the G.M.C. and his supposed 4.6 time in the forty-yard dash, the first name that immediately comes to mind when trying to think of a comparison is Jason Worilds (nee Adjepong). Worilds was frequently injured, but if Issaka can come anywhere close to that level of production he'll do very well in Piscataway as a weakside end (with either Myles Jackson or Kyle George playing offense). Between Max Issaka's wrestling background and phenomenal speed, he's pretty much the prototypical Greg Schiano defensive end. Rutgers fans should be very excited about his future; he's genuinely a great fit in the team's defense. Scheme should always be taken into account when evaluating any prospect. For RU, Issaka is a four star guy. On that same logic though, it's harder to get excited about the one other player rumored to be picking Rutgers next week, at least on the defensive side of the ball. We'll cross that bridge when it comes up though.