Apr 14, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley (7) throws a pass in the 2012 spring game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

USC Football Recruiting: What to Expect from Ty Isaac at USC


The USC Trojans bolstered their already stellar abbreviated Class of 2013 on Tuesday, with the commitment of a 4-Star running back out of Joliet Catholic in Illinois, Ty Isaac. Isaac is the 75th ranked recruit in the FanSided 150, and number 18 on the Rivals 100.

Isaac is a big back for the Trojans to grab a commitment from, not only physically, but logistically, as he’s guy that can anchor the Trojans backfield beginning in 2013. With Curtis McNeal’s senior season coming in 2012, the Trojans have to fill out a depth chart for 2013 and beyond, which has been difficult after the transfers of Dillon Baxter and Amir Carlisle, as only McNeal, D.J. Morgan and Buck Allen remain in the backfield.

Tre Madden was going to give the Trojans a big shot in the arm, as he excelled this spring, but his torn ACL puts him out until 2013, and incoming freshman Nelson Agholor is ideally a receiver in Lane Kiffin’s offense, but will get time in the backfield this fall. Come 2013, the Trojans’ D.J. Morgan will be a junior, while Tre Madden and Buck Allen will both be redshirt sophomores.

Ty Isaac brings a running style that complements the speed of Morgan quite well. While Isaac is a big body at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, he’s not a bruising runner, but instead uses his height to his advantage, as an upright runner with great vision. Running upright hasn’t always been the safest style, just ask Adrian Petersen, but the vision it provides is imperative, especially when coupled with a strong offensive line, as the Trojans will have with talented players like Zach Banner and Jordan Simmons.

In his highlight reel, Isaac is seen dodging tacklers from the line of scrimmage and weaving his way through defenders, often untouched. Some of his runs are surely aided by a technically sound offensive line, but his vision, coupled with his incredible ability to move laterally with swift cuts, enables Isaac to get the most out of his physical tools and allow his speed to finish off his runs.

Isaac isn’t a speed back in the form of a D.J. Morgan or Desmond Reed, but is more in the mold of a bigger, better C.J. Gable who can take on defenders both physically and with his speed. Isaac is a heck of lot bigger than Gable and more polished coming out of high school, despite having a senior season at Joliet Catholic still yet to be played.

At USC, he’ll have the ability to be used in the passing game as a slot receiver just as Lane Kiffin used Reggie Bush and Dillon Baxter, in addition to singleback sets with screens and dump passes out of the backfield.

The Trojans used Tre Madden to fill the “Darren Sproles” role back in spring camp, and it’s certainly something that Isaac has the skill set for, as his vision out in open space could be a dangerous weapon for the USC offense, and something they’ve lacked in the backfield since the early departure of Joe McKnight.

More importantly, the commitment from Ty Isaac allows the Trojans to recruit more efficiently, assuming that Isaac retains his commitment. The Trojans are hot on trail for Su’a Cravens, the 4th best recruit in the country according to the FanSided 150, and he’ll decide his college fate on June 6th.

Cravens is a two-way player with comparables to Charles Woodson, and an excellent running back, though he projects more as an outside linebacker or safety at the college level. With Isaac aboard, Lane Kiffin can turn the page to locking up Cravens, in addition to big time defensive prospects like Michael Hutchings and Eddie Vanderdoes.

As it stands now, the Trojans have six commitments in the Class of 2013, with Max Browne, Eldridge Massington and Ty Isaac on offense, while Kenny Bigelow, Chris Hawkins, and Kylie Fitts on defense.

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