Friday, January 31st, 1997
Isabelle Reportedly Commits to UVa
Smelled this one coming....
The Bluefield Daily Telegraph is reporting that high school All-American Yubrenal Isabelle has verbally committed to Virginia. Here's a copy of the article from the Bluefield Daily Telegraph On-Line (http://www.bdtonline.com/sports.htm), as of 10:00 p.m. Thursday (I copied the article from their web site because they update the site frequently):
Isabelle commits to Cavaliers
By JASON BROWN of the Daily Telegraph staff
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Bluefield High School linebacker and running back Yubrenal Isabelle said Thursday he will attend Virginia.
"This was just something I feel good about," said Isabelle, who was named to this year's Parade magazine All-America high school football team.
The 1996 Sam Huff Award winnner, annually given to the state's top defensive player by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association, will likely move in as a linebacker for the Cavaliers this fall.
"This was something I was looking forward to getting out of the way," said Isabelle.
The 6-foot-2, 222-pound senior finished second in the voting for the Kennedy Award, given to the state's most valuable player.
"I feel like this is a good situation for me," Isabelle said of joining George Welsh's club in Charlottesville.
Isabelle was named state player of the year by Gatorade, USA Today and the Morgantown Touchdown Club.
Isabelle was a three-year starter on both offense and defense.
Isabelle rushed for 4,450 yards and 72 touchdowns in his prep career.
He also was an all-state selection at linebacker after Bluefield had three shutouts and allowed 8 points a game in going 11-2 last season.
Nebraska, Penn State, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and West Virginia were among teams that recruited Isabelle.
Will here again. Do you see the difference between this article and the one in The Roanoke Times? This one has direct quotes from Isabelle himself, which I've been saying is the key all along.
The report of this commitment follows an assurance just yesterday from The Roanoke Times that Isabelle's commitment to Tech was solid. The Roanoke paper reported Thursday that three UVa coaches had flown to Bluefield upon hearing the news of Isabelle's reported commitment to Tech, "only to have Isabelle reiterate his commitment to Tech."
Whew, sounds like The Roanoke Times got smoked on this one. Next time, talk to the player himself before you report the commitment, fellas.
Let's assume that the BDT article is the real McCoy (and I think it is), and that Yubie will indeed be a Wahoo. Don't lose any sleep over it, Hokies. If Isabelle would rather go to UVa, then that's where I'd rather have him be, as opposed to going to Tech and not having his heart in it.
At the beginning of the Isabelle saga, I was told by some excellent sources that Isabelle's family wanted him to go to Tech because it was so close by, and when the news of his "commitment" to Tech first broke, that sounded great. But then the rumors started flying that he was still wavering, and in the absence of comments from Isabelle himself, I started to smell something rotten. And then I got an email from a buddy of mine who is following the story very closely, and he said, "You know why Yubie's not saying anything? He's busy trying to convince his parents that the drive to Charlottesville isn't really that far."
Bingo. I think he talked them into it.
I think it's time to shut the books on this one, folks, although we won't really know for sure until Yubrenal Isabelle's name is scribbled onto a form on February 5th. You recruiting junkies, and Hokies in general, can now start wondering where Tyrone Robertson of GW-Danville is going to go.
Regardless of the ultimate outcome, Yubrenal Isabelle's recruiting saga won't soon be forgotten. It's stories like this that become recruiting legend.
Now, for more recruiting tales, be sure to check out the Mailbag Page.