Michigan Football: Ty Isaac Poised for Breakout Season


Nov 9, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans tailback Ty Isaac (29) rushes for a touchdown as California Golden Bears cornerback Cedric Dozier (37) defends at Memorial Stadium. USC defeated California 62-28. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Wolverines are in dire need of a dynamic offense in 2015. As we all saw in the spring game, this offense still needs quite a bit of progress to be made before it can compete in an increasingly competitive Big 10 conference. With a currently unstable quarterback situation, most of the offensive power will likely come from the running game (fingers crossed for a decent offensive line). Michigan currently has a stable of solid running backs including De’Veon Smith, Drake Johnson, Derrick Green, Antonio Whitfield and most recently, Ty Issac. Though some of these backs have put up respectable numbers at times, Michigan hasn’t had a 1000 yard back since Fitzgerald Toussiant in 2011. This may change with Ty Isaac’s transfer to Michigan. Here’s why:

1. He’s enormous.

“He has great feet, good vision, he’s a smooth runner” – Tyrone Wheatley

Ty Isaac is a huge running back. At a whopping 6-foot-3, 240 lbs, Isaac has enough strength and power to break tackles and move the pile for first downs. Nick Baumgardner from “mlive.com” quoted Michigan running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley: “He’s the largest one out of the bunch. In terms of difference, that would probably be it just about him being different. Ty’s bigger”. However, Isaac’s size won’t limit him to being just a third down back. Wheatley states “He has great feet, good vision, he’s a smooth runner.” This lethal combination of size, footwork, and vision could lead to the type of running back Michigan fans are used to watching on Saturdays.

2. He was an absolute freak in high school.

Ranked as the #4 running back in his 2013 class, Isaac looks like a men amongst boys in his high school tape:

Brady Hoke was close to grabbing Isaac for the 2013 Michigan freshman class before USC entered the mix. However, after limited playing time his freshman year, Ty Isaac decided to return to the Midwest to be closer to his mother who lives in his hometown of Joliet, Illinois. For a few weeks last offseason, there was hope that Isaac might be granted a medical hardship waiver based off his mother’s medical problems. If it hadn’t been denied, Isaac would’ve been eligible to play last season, giving him a year of experience to add to his resume. It didn’t work out that way, as his request was denied which lead to Ty’s ineligibility in the 2014-2015 season .

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3. No news is good news.

With the exception of De’Veon Smith’s opening run, Michigan’s running game looked pretty weak in its most recent spring game. Because Isaac was only given the ball once in this game, he at least merits the room to say that he didn’t do a poor job; something Smith, Green, and Johnson can’t say.

4. He’s essentially had two redshirt years.

Isaac’s playing time at USC was extremely limited. He only saw 40 attempts throughout the year and still managed to average over five yards per carry. With his ineligibility in 2014, Isaac was able to have an entire year to learn the game, work on his fundamentals, and develop chemistry with the offensive line. This puts him in a perfect position this offseason to rise above the rest and earn the starting role. If he doesn’t win it outright before the season, he’ll at least rotate with the other backs and have game time opportunities to prove his potential.