Issah Couldn't Pass Up Linebacker U

Zayd Issah

Central Dauphin High (Harrisburg, Pa.) linebacker Zayd Issah wanted to be close to home and loved Penn State's linebacker tradition. There were also a few other crucial aspects to his commitment to Penn State, and he spoke about them with FOXSportsNEXT.

A few days ago Zayd Issah was closing in on a decision, and he spoke to Penn State coach Bill O'Brien about it.

After taking a couple more days to mull things over, the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Central Dauphin High (Harrisburg, Pa.) knew his heart was at Penn State, so he called O'Brien back to commit.

"He was excited," Issah said. "He said he was going to go down the hall screaming. Two days ago I called him and said I was nearing a decision."

The plan is for Issah to enter Penn State as a strong side linebacker, and he cannot wait to play for veteran linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden and defensive coordinator Ted Roof.

"It's Linebacker U, and that's the place linebackers go to reach their full potential," Issah said. "It's an awesome coaching staff they have there with coach Van and even some of the other guys they brought on staff. They brought some SEC guys (Roof) in there.

"What they want me to play right now is the SAM linebacker, and there's plenty of great that played that position. They came out of high school as great players but then also went on to have awesome college career and they developed even more in college under coach Van's watch."

Issah had a strong offer list as Arizona State, Boston College, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Virginia were all in on him after a blistering junior season.

Issah recorded 123 tackles, including 14 sacks, and forced four fumbles. He doubled as a running back and finished with 1,345 yards and 21 touchdowns on 235 carries.

He said there was no special reason for committing Thursday, other than he continually though about playing for the Nittany Lions, and he could imagine himself anywhere else.

"I just thought today was the day to do it," Issah said. "I think Penn State is heading in the right direction with the coaching staff they have up there, the energy the players have around the program and everything is excited about what is going on there. I thought it was a good time to get on board with Penn State.

"Being around campus, I think the energy surrounding their program … they're turning over a new leaf. Talking to coach O'Brien was big and being so close to campus, my family can see me play, so that's huge for me."

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