It looks like USC’s loss will be Michigan’s gain because former USC running back Ty Isaac has committed to Michigan after his visit to the campus this week. He made it official when he tweeted Thursday morning that he’ll play football in Ann Arbor.
The former USC running back and five-star recruit received his release from the Trojans last month so that he could transfer closer to his home in Shorewood, Ill. as his mother works through complications from a recent surgical procedure.
He reportedly visited Illinois last week. Then on Tuesday of this week, Isaac, and his parents, made their way to Ann Arbor to take in a visit with Michigan. Sam Webb of Scout.com reported that Isaac’s one-day visit turned into an overnight trip, with him staying in town through at least Wednesday morning.
Now as of right now, we don’t know the status of Issac’s eligibility for the 2014 season. According NCAA rules, transfers usually have to sit out a full season. However, because of his mother’s illness, Isaac can apply for a hardship waiver allowing him to play this season. As a hardship waiver candidate because of his family circumstance, Isaac could be eligible in 2014 but must be approved by the NCAA.
Due to standard transfer rules, Isaac will have to sit out the 2014 season in Ann Arbor before being eligible to play again in 2015. All indications to this point have suggested Isaac will hope the NCAA approves an application for a hardship waiver, due to his desire to be playing closer to home with his mother ill. The only problem is the hardship waiver typically is for when a player transfers to a school within 100 miles from home, which is not the case for Isaac and Ann Arbor. However, there are exceptions to the rule, which is more of a guideline. The NCAA will have to make the decision.
Nonetheless, there is no doubt that once Isaac does get on the field, he will immediately become a key contributor in the Wolverine’s offense. At 6-foot-3 and 225-pounds, Issac rushed for 236 yards and two touchdowns while appearing in 14 games as a backup running back at USC last season. By adding Isaac to the mix at Michigan he automatically adds tremendous depth to the running back position for the Wolverines.
The Wolverines no longer have their former leading rusher Fitzgerald Toussaint, which leaves them with sophomore Derrick Green who will more than likely slide into the feature-back role this season after rushing for 270 yards and a pair of touchdowns as a freshman. However, with the addition of Issac, Michigan can now complete a one-two combination in the Wolverines’ backfield and if running back De’Veon Smith steps up and performs well, its gives Michigan a bit of a potential triple threat monster which could prove to be lethal in the Big Ten.
Overall, I expect Issac to make an immediate impact. He has good size and speed to break long runs. He is very smooth with good elusiveness to make defenders miss and probably the most underrated aspect of his game, is his ability to be a receiver out of the backfield. Michigan has a winner here, they just have to get on him the field as soon as possible.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit