From his first memories of football through his recent commitment to USC, Ty Isaac has had his cousin Brian Loftin with him each step of the way.
Ty is one of the most decorated running backs in this year's class, the nation's top ranked player at his position and now a USC Trojan commit. With his recruitment out of the way, he now looks to help Loftin in his recruitment.
"We never played together," Isaac said, "but coming up, our schedule was a little different, so he was always going to my games, and I've been able to go to his games. When you're four, five, six, that's when your athletic skills set in and we were learning to throw the ball and I used to mess around with him back then."
Loftin remembers those days too.
"We've always been messing around at our grandparents' house, talking football and obviously I see his success and am hoping to do the same kind of thing. Obviously, his caliber, it's up there right now, but it would be pretty cool to go somewhere and play."
The interest is starting to come for Loftin and he has several camps planned for summer, including Anthony Spencer's RAS Camp in Fort Wayne, where he can show college coaches what he can do. Isaac already knows.
"Just a playmaker," he says, describing Brian. "He makes a lot of athletic plays in his offense, throws a good ball. He's a good athlete, can run real well, and do a whole bunch."
Last season, Loftin and his Woodstock North team lost to Montini in the first round of the playoffs, the same Montini team Ty and Joliet Catholic would face in the state title game.
"We spoke a little," Isaac said, "because our offenses are similar and after watching film and knowing how he plays, it helped."
It helped Ty set a rushing record in that title game in a losing effort. This year, the cousins hope they can take their teams even farther, and while it is a long way away, if both win their respective brackets, there is a chance they could face each other in the state title game.
As far as continuing to support each other through college, that is a given, but an interesting scenario may be the potential for Brian to walk-on at USC and continue to play with his cousin. While this summer will be spent looking to earn scholarship offers, he says becoming a Trojan wouldn't be so bad either.
"I think it'd be sweet," Brian said. "I'm looking for any opportunity at the next level. That'd be nice."