Junior end Isaiah Foskey insists he’s not focused on getting the single-season sack record at Notre Dame.
The 6 foot 5, 260-pound edge player who plays the Vyper defensive end position for the Irish, has evolved into the Irish’s most disruptive lineman. Foskey has eight sacks, 8.5 tackles for losses, three forced fumbles and two fumbles through the first seven games. The only thing Foskey hasn’t done is get an interception.
That’s on his bucket list.
Justin Tuck, one of the all-time great Notre Dame defensive linemen was a two-time All-Pro and won two Super Bowls with the Giants. He holds the current all-time record after setting 13.5 sacks to go with 19 tackles for loss back in 2002.
If he gets the record Foskey isn’t going to complain. Foskey's next chance to add to his total will be Saturday night against North Carolina, and he's hoping he can repeat his two-sack performance we saw against USC.
“It would be cool to get it and just have your name up there, “ he said.
Foskey has benefitted from the scheme of defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman, and from the strength of the Irish line. Teams have to account for standout defensive tackle Jayson Ademilola and captains Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa at end and Kurt Hinish at nose tackle.
Foskey said he knew at the beginning of the season if he stayed healthy, his numbers were going to rise.
“My mind wasn’t on going for a sack record,” he explained. “My mentality going into the season was that I knew I was going to be a starter and I was going to get more reps. My deal was that getting more reps was going to equal more production. I knew my production was going to go my way. I know my ability and what I can do. My angle was never to get a sack record or a goal, I just wanted to get TFL’s and sacks. There wasn’t a number for me but right now the season is going well.”
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said that Foskey is the kind of player that does all the right things off the field.
He gets his rest, he eats right and he studies up on opponents.
“He's great to work with,” Kelly said. “He's just got a great attitude every day. Look, the kid is, and we all know that we use this word freak, but he takes care of himself. He eats right. We use Oura rings that give us the kid's sleep patterns and he gets eight hours of sleep. He takes care of himself. He is so prepared. So, when he comes to practice, you can throw some stuff on him and he handles it very well. Some guys wouldn't, but he does. There's more than just this outward appearance of an athlete. He is really locked in and a smart guy that you can put some extra things on, which we did this year with the new scheme."
Foskey said that he goes to bed at 10:30 p.m. every night. Foskey said the Oura ring has helped.
“It’s tracking you, and if I know I’m not getting enough sleep, it makes you want to go to bed earlier,” he said.
The breakout season for Foskey certainly means that he’ll explore his NFL options. He’s currently a redshirt sophomore in terms of eligibility. With the Covid exception, Foskey has three years of eligibility left.
He won’t be here that long.
“I would ask Coach Kelly to put my name in just to see where I would be at,” Foskey stated, “and to take into consideration where I would go from there.“
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