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2019 Senior Bowl: Interview Andy Isabella – WR (Massachusetts)

Steve Shoup

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Andy Isabella – WR (Massachusetts)

Measurables:

Hgt:  5’ 8⅞”

Wgt: 186 lbs.

Hand:  8½”

Arm:  29¾”

Wing: 71“

 

PROFILE:

SENIOR (2018): 

  • Biletnikoff Award Finalist (1 of 3 finalists)
    • 2018 FBS Consensus First Team All-American (includes AFCA, Associated Press, FWAA, Sporting News & Walter Camp)
    • Walter Camp All-America First Team
    • AFCA All-America First Team
    • FWAA All-America First Team
    • PFF College All-America First Team
    • Phil Steele All-America First Team
    • Associated Press All-America Second Team
    • CBS Sports All-America Second Team
    • Sporting News All-America Second Team
    • Sports Illustrated All-America Second Team
    • Phil Steele All-Independent First Team
    • NEFWA All-New England Team
    • All-ECAC First Team
    • Led the FBS with his 1,698 total receiving yards and 141.5 receiving yards per game as of the completion of conference championship games, which is 288 more receiving yards and 24.0 more yards per game than any other receiver
    • Finished second in total receptions (102), third for receptions per game (8.5) and tied for sixth in touchdown receptions (13)
    • His 303-yard effort on nine receptions (33.7 yards per catch) against Liberty reset the UMass record for receiving yards in a single game and set the top mark in FBS or FCS during the 2018 season
    • Capped his career with 15 catches for 219 yards and two touchdowns and rushed twice for 10 yards at #5 Georgia
    • His 15 receptions at #5 Georgia’s Sanford Stadium rank as the most by an opposing player in the history of the building (1929-present) while his 219 receiving yards are the second-most all-time
    JUNIOR (2017):
  • Phil Steele All-Independent First Team (Wide Receiver)
    • All-ECAC Second Team
    • Played in and started all 12 games at wide receiver
    • Was the team-leader in receptions (65), receiving yards (1,020) and touchdown catches (10)
    • Ranked among the top wide receivers in the nation for touchdown catches (t-16th), receiving yards per game (27th) and receptions per game (44th)
    • One of only 10 players across FBS with three or more touchdowns of 65 or more yards (t-7th; 3): Georgia Southern (68 yards), Mississippi State (69) and Maine (69)
    SOPHOMORE (2016): 
  • Phil Steele All-Independent First Team
    • Appeared in 12 games, starting 10 at wide receiver
    • Recorded 62 receptions for 801 yards and seven touchdowns
    • Broke out for 95 yards on three receptions against the No. 25 Florida defense, including a 53-yard catch-and-run play
    FRESHMAN (2015): 
  • Appeared in 10 games, starting vs. Kent State
    • Ranked No. 2 on the team with 17 kick returns for 315 yards

 

On what it means to him to be part of the Senior Bowl.

It’s an unbelievable opportunity for me, especially coming from a smaller school, just to get the exposure and to play guys at top competition.

 

On what it was like for him to have some big games this year against some teams that are considered major college programs – to include #5 Georgia, #21 South Florida and BYU, and whether he thinks he still has a chip on his shoulder to prove that he can play against a higher level of competition.

It was an awesome experience just going up against teams like that it’s a whole different feel.  The game is played faster.  I think I get more excited, more pumped up to play in games like that. … I think I still have a chip on my shoulder because being from a small school we still get beat – it’s not like we were winning a lot.  I think that was one of my biggest regrets at UMass, that I couldn’t get the team to come together and win.  But I love the feel of playing in a big game. 

 

On whether he will have that same kind of big game feel this week at the Senior Bowl given that he will be going against some top-notch competition.

Actually yeah, we got to go on the field yesterday and I was ready to go right there and play right away. 

 

On what kind of advice he has gotten from the coaching staff or any scouts here at the Senior Bowl.

Just keep being myself, being confident in what I do. 

 

On how this whole process has been for him, going back to the College Football Awards Show in Atlanta and what it has been like going through all the steps to get here.

It’s been a lot for sure.  It was tough finishing my degree up. Once I got a degree done then it started getting real, that this would be my life’s focus for the next 8 to 10 years, maybe even more.

 

On whether there have been any surprises for him here at the Senior Bowl.

No, Coach Whipple (his college coach, Mark Whipple) did a great job teaching you everything he knew.  He coached in the NFL for a long time.  The plays he had were very similar to what Coach Gruden (his Senior Bowl coach) has.  Similar formations maybe just different letters.  Same formations, same style of play and stuff like that.

 

On who was the toughest player he went against in his career one-on-one.

Probably Deandre Baker (Georgia cornerback).  Great player and a really good kid.  I got to meet him again down in Atlanta.  He was just confident in what he did.  He knew what he was doing.

 

On what an NFL team is going to get from him.

They’re going to get a kid that comes in everyday and works as hard as he can.  Not going to look back.  I know I’m going to make a couple of mistakes but the next day I’m going to come back even harder.

 

On whether there are any current NFL receivers that he likes to watch and perhaps pattern his game after.

Definitely Tyreek Hill – love watching him.  Great player.  I like watching Edelman.

 

On when a career in the NFL started to become a reality for him.

To be honest with you, I’d go back to my sophomore year, my first start versus the Florida Gators.  I had a 53-yard catch at the end of the first quarter.  And after the game I ended up having three catches for like 93 yards.  I only played like 15 snaps because I was only playing out of the slot. After the game a lot of guys came up to me and were congratulating me.

 

On what was the toughest thing he overcame in his career.

I pulled my hamstring – I actually ran track one time in college.  My first race I pulled my hamstring.  It was after my freshman season where I didn’t really get much playing time, I was more of a special teams guy. I was really down.  I fought through it all spring. Had tough time – had to work my butt off all summer to even get a look in fall camp.  Not lucky, but I guess one of the guys got hurt and I stepped in and made some plays against Florida and after that in our second game against BC and then started the rest of the year.

 

On whether he has any predictions about his 40-yard dash time at the Combine.

I’m hoping to break 4.3 to be honest.  I’ll be upset with over 4.4.



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