Bob Apisa made a name for himself at MSU as an All-American fullback, and if head coach Mark Dantonio gets his way then his grandson could also have a lasting impact on Spartan football.
Jacob Isaia, an offensive lineman prospect, has become one of the star prospects out of Hawaii for the class of 2018, and has received interest from MSU. Isaia took an unofficial visit to East Lansing in the fall, and considers MSU one of the schools he’s looking into. He spoke to Hondo Carpenter on Spartan Nation Radio recently.
“MSU is one of my recruiting schools that I’d like to go to because it has influenced me a lot,” Isaia said. “A lot of my family members have actually gone to MSU.”
Isaia, who is listed at 6 feet 3 inches and 240 pounds, is still in the early portions of the recruiting process with still two more years of high school football left to play. He’s enjoyed the recruiting process so far; already taking unofficial visits to Ohio State, UCLA and Washington. However, MSU could have the inside track to landing the skilled lineman because of those family ties he mentioned.
His mother attended MSU and his grandfather is a living ICON. Bob Apisa, played fullback for the Spartans from 1965-67. He was a two-time All-American during his time and played in the 1966 Rose Bowl. He also was the first Polynesian player at MSU. Apisa's shadow looms large as not only one of the greatest Spartans of all time, but one of the greatest college football players in the history of the game!
His grandfather has had a direct impact on Isaia becoming familiar with MSU, with Isaia stating he remembers attending a game at Spartan Stadium with him a few years ago.
“I came a few years back when MSU played Wisconsin I think in football,” Isaia said. “Me and my grandpa came, checking the place out. Looking at the facilities and everything. It was great. … He’s just been all green and white when I was growing up. Showing me all of the things he got from MSU, showing me the balls, everything.”
Isaia is considered an offensive tackle but has good footwork that makes him a candidate to play inside as well. Some of that impressive footwork can be credited to playing for the Junior National Volleyball Team when he was younger.
Isaia will continue to work in the weight room this offseason at his new school, Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. Bishop Gorman is known as a perennial powerhouse program, with seven straight State Championships dating back to 2009.
Isaia is excited about the new program he’s joining, and said the transition has been smooth thanks in large part to a few fellow Hawaiian’s.
“(My Stepdad) had to come out here to Vegas for a job. The school I went to before Bishop Gorman was a private school and my parents were looking for a lot of private schools for me to test to, and Bishop Gorman was one of the ones that stood out,” Isaia said. “It’s great. I love Bishop Gorman. Everyone is so welcoming and they’ve really helped me adjust going to school there. There are a couple Hawaii kids that are attending Bishop Gorman now that have helped me through this process.”
Now on the mainland, Isaia might see an uptick in recruiting attention but he doesn’t think the possible enhanced publicity will affect his true nature. He said a lot of Hawaiian players don’t receive the same recruiting attention as those on the mainland, which helps keep those prospects humble.
“In Hawaii, a lot of Hawaiian’s when they get all of this experience, all this showing and everyone is interested in them they are all humble because we come from a small island,” Isaia said. “It’s very hard to get recognition from Hawaii. That’s why everyone is so humble.”