Saturday, August 9, 2014

2014 Season Countdown: #19 Ty Isaac

Ty Isaac
Name: Ty Isaac
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 225 lbs.
High school: Joliet (IL) Catholic
Position: Running back
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #32
Last year: I did not rank Isaac, who was on the USC football team. He ran 40 times for 236 yards and 2 touchdowns, and he caught 4 passes for 57 yards.

I was a pretty big fan of Isaac coming out of high school, but he went to the dastardly USC Trojans instead of the local-ish favorites like Notre Dame and Michigan. Lane Kiffin (and his replacement, Leatherhead from TMNT) gave him the fifth-most carries on the team, so he was not particularly irreplaceable. However, he did average 5.9 yards/carry and had some nice looking runs on the chances he did have. In the offseason, his mother had ear surgery that would have prevented her from flying to see his games in southern California, so that was the reason (or at least the excuse) for him to seek a transfer. His options came down to Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, and Michigan, and the Wolverines won that battle.

It's unclear whether Isaac will be available for the 2014 season; he will have to get a waiver from the NCAA, which they are not likely to grant since Michigan is outside the 100-mile radius from Joliet, IL. I went ahead and ranked Isaac on the list, and you may notice that he's the top back in the stable. In my opinion, he's better than anyone Michigan had on the roster prior to last year, and he was better than either Derrick Green or De'Veon Smith in the 2013 class. Isaac is a big body with some nifty feet, decent speed, and an ability to catch the ball. He probably won't play a down in 2014, so Michigan will be without its 19th-most valuable player this year.

Prediction: Redshirt


  1. Wow. If it is indeed true that the 5th string RB on USC last year instantly becomes more important than a bunch of proven starters at Michigan this program in is way worse shape than thought. Especially if he is on a red-shirt. This is the most baffling ranking in the history of the TTB countdowns. U trollin bro?

    There are excuses for the 5th string thing -- USC was deep, he was young (but so was Justin Davis, who got more carries and nearly a yard more per carry despite being lower ranked) and he had a nice ypc (though the FB did better).

    I like Isaac's talent and he may indeed be the best RB on the roster, but this ranking treats him like a proven 5-star talent when clearly his time at USC dimmed his shine quite a bit. As was the case with Derrick Green's expectations last year, he's an unproven player. More importantly, a RB is only as good as his OL, so it probably doesn't matter as much what a RB can do with the ball as his ability to pick-off blitzers this year.

    IMO, Isaac doesn't warrant being ranked in the top 50. If he was healthy, eligible AND running with the ones already he'd still be outside the top 20 and he'd bump Green, Smith, Hayes and others far lower than they were ranked. The RBs, collectively, are getting overrated here.

    1. Not quite fair. Not only was Isaac a young rb but he is also coming from USC (home of NFL talent).

      I think the ranking is high but not completely unreasonable. The rankings take into account redshirts and injuries. Fair enough. I would rank Isaac over Green and Smith and from some highlights from USC he did look good.

      Goes to show you how UM has to go to catch a program like USC.

    2. I don't really like the Justin Davis comparison, because I liked Davis a lot and thought he was perhaps the best running back in the 2013 class. So it doesn't mean much to me that Isaac was behind him on the depth chart. In my opinion, every (or almost every) freshman running back in the country would have been behind him on a depth chart last year.

    3. That's fine re: Davis, but it doesn't explain the 3 other RBs he was also behind. Not saying they are slouches either but 5th string is 5th string. USC is not an NFL franchise.

      I don't think many future stud RBs spend their freshman season buried that deep.

    4. Carlos Hyde had 24 carries for 141 yards (5.9 yards/carry) as a freshman.

      Jeremy Hill redshirted.

      Tre Mason had 28 carries for 161 yards (5.8 yards/carry).

      Bishop Sankey had 28 carries for 187 yards (6.7 yards/carry).

      Those are just some of the top backs in the country from last season who had uneventful freshman seasons. There are others who performed frequently and well, but there's no rule for how stud backs perform as freshmen.

  2. Thunder, do you have a TTB ranking for Ty? I'm torn between wanting him now versus balancing out thevclass

    1. No, I don't. It probably would have been in the high 80's or low 90's. I really liked him as a prospect.

  3. Looks and runs like a stronger version of Justin Fargas.

  4. Why are players being ranked who by all accounts won't be able to play this year?.. doesn't make a lick of sense!

    1. Because "all accounts" refers to a bunch of recruiting sites, not the coaches or the NCAA.

      And also, I know this must be frustrating, because it's a very serious, official thing for him to be ranked on this list. This might affect the national championship and the Heisman!

    2. This changes everything!

  5. whats the valuation process here? does this countdown list consider #1 to be THE most important player for michigan this fall? and if that #1 player were absent due to injury or whatever, the teams performance would suffer more than losing #2 or #10 ranked players on this list? just trying to get feel for ranking process