Following the 2021 season, Utah's safety position was in need of a reload after the departure of seniors Vonte Davis and Brandon McKinney. Looking to the transfer portal, Utah secured a transfer from Illinois State Safety Clayton Isbell.
"I really chose [Utah] on my official. It was the coaches and players, the way they are all together and how they show love to each other...it was something I wanted to be a part of," Isbell explained.
At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, Isbell has superior length and an elite frame which he utilizes to lockdown the secondary. While his listed weight may appear to be somewhat of a concern, Isbell is incredibly light on his feet and possesses the agility in order to stay right with receivers. He also has really good vision and consistently puts himself in the position to make plays and break up passes.
During his three seasons at Illinois State, Isbell recorded 101 total tackles, 64 of which were solo. He also added five tackles for loss and created six turnovers, five of which were interceptions.
In addition to his stellar performances, Isbell shared that he learned a lot at Illinois State which helped him prepare to make the move to Utah.
"Just taking coaching. The coaches here, they love the players, and you show you love by the way they teach and the way they coach. My college experience, I learned over time to trust the coaches and just trust the process," Isbell said.
Now in his first fall camp with the University of Utah, Isbell has been busy learning the playbook and making sure he gets extra time in the film room in order to do so. He also has been able to lean on guys like Cole Bishop and RJ Hubert as he acclimates to Utah's scheme and high level of play.
"Fall camp, I'm taking it day by day," Isbell said. "Learning the playbook, getting extra film in, extra work on the field and just trying to do my thing...all the safeties, they all have knowledge because they've been here for some time. So definitely Cole Bishop, RJ as well. Anytime I have questions or anytime I mess up, they're there to correct me and pick me up."
While Isbell is simply focused on doing whatever is asked of him in his first season at the U, he says the safety room is looking really good given their in-game experience and knowledge of the playbook.
"The safety room is looking really good," Isbell added. "A lot of experience coming in. They may be young in academics but on the line they’ve definitely had some time played in games, experience, know the defensive calls. So we’re going to be pretty good.”
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