July 12, 2010

Issaka to visit UNC, Florida

Max Issaka has been devoting most of his attention lately to his own high school team and their summer schedule.

The Woodbridge, N.J. prospect told Rivals.com early this week that he is now up to 6-foot-3 and 237-pounds, and he is now running the 40-yard dash in under 4.6 seconds. The summer has been a time for him to get bigger, stronger and faster, and according to Issaka himself, he has succeeded in that respect.

"(On Saturday) we went to a (7-on-7) shootout but unfortunately we came up short," Issaka recalled. "Don Bosco won it. That's what we've been trying to do for the past couple of weeks. We're going to different shootouts and trying to build that chemistry and coordination with our offense.

"Personally I've just been training harder with the team and trying to get them better while trying to get better myself.

"I feel great about our team. I like how we're doing everything, from the way we act when we're not on the field to the way we perform on it. We seem real confident and ready to go out and get a ring this year. We've waited a long time for that and we seem hyped up to get it."

Two of the schools Issaka has managed to visit recently were Pitt and Rutgers. One week after his trip to Pitt, which went well, Issaka and his parents returned to Rutgers to ask some questions and get some answers.

"We wanted to get some things cleared up, like where I would fit in the defense," he said of his trip to Rutgers. "More defensive ends are committing to Rutgers and I went there to see how things are going to be.

"I felt comfortable (at Rutgers) from the start. I felt like one of them and it feels like a family being there with people I know. It felt like home already.

"But then again the depth chart is getting filled up real quickly. I'm just trying to evaluate all these schools and see where I'd fit in best."

Issaka is hoping to visit at least a couple of other schools before the school year begins at Woodbridge.

"I'm hoping to be able to travel back down to Florida, and from there go to UNC because the Tar Heels have been talking to me lately," he explained. "They've been saying I'd be a great fit with them."

If Issaka makes those trips to Gainesville and Chapel Hill there's a chance they could be the last trips he makes before a decision.

"If I have to then I'll take an official visit or two but hopefully it doesn't come to that," he said.

"My coach wants me to commit and my parents want me to commit. The whole community wants me to commit, but everybody's behind me. They're supporting me but they want me to make my decision before the season. I want to do that, too. I want to get that monkey off my back. There's a lot of pressure on somebody to make that critical decision."

Issaka is ranked the No. 24 weakside defensive end in the nation by Rivals.com.

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