LAS VEGAS – Offensive lineman Jacob Isaia made the big move from playing high school football in Hawaii to Las Vegas at powerhouse Bishop Gorman. The rising junior is an intelligent young man who has a plan for his life well after football.
At 6’3″, 250 lbs., he has put on 30 pounds since coming over to Bishop Gorman. The coaches want him to play around 255-260 lbs. this season.
Transferring from ‘Iolani High in Honolulu, Hawaii, Isaia moved to Las Vegas along with his stepdad and mother. His stepdad took a job there and now his son is in a prime spot to thrive on a team that has won seven consecutive state titles posting a dominating 99-6 record since 2009.
In Hawaii, Isaia said games were played at 2 o’clock because it was so humid. He started at left tackle as a sophomore after serving at the same position on the school’s intermediate team (7th-9th grade).
He says the switch to Bishop Gorman athletically has a been a major change, but socially he has fit right in. At right tackle, he feels prepared and says the plays run at his old school are very similar to what Bishop Gorman employs.
“They expect a lot and are very demanding,” Isaia said about Bishop Gorman. “At the same time, they show so much love and I just love Bishop Gorman. All the kids and coaches are keeping up with me asking how I’m doing, helping me out if I need. It’s very friendly and competitive.”
Coming from a football-oriented family, his father Sale Isaia played five years in the NFL after starring at UCLA as an offensive lineman in the early 90’s. His grandfather Bob Apisa played fullback at Michigan State.
Jacob leans on his dad often and says he loves their relationship.
“I love him. He’s been a big supporter. I call him every day and talk to him everyday. He helps me with film on Hudl.”
Bishop Gorman’s schedule is packed with tough opponents and now Isaia will get to showcase his game in front of a large crowd at games and on TV via ESPN.
“It’s going to be a great opportunity for my family members who haven’t been able to see me play ball to be able to watch on ESPN and see how I perform. It’s a lot of attention of the coaches. I try to block it out and focus on the game.”
Although he didn’t start playing football until the seventh grade, he has been an athlete for his entire life participating in both basketball and volleyball. He actually was a part of the National Junior Olympic men’s volleyball team.
He says last season is when he found full confidence in his game because of all the responsibility he had covering his quarterback’s blindside.
Isaia’s biggest role model is Hawaii’s own offensive lineman Fred Ulu-Perry.
“He went to UCLA and became a starter as a true freshman and then he started missing home so he transferred to Hawaii. In Hawaii, he was known as one of the bigger guys. He helped me realize that starting as a true freshman that I have more potential and I can do it.”
Right now, Isaia has strong interest from Washington, Washington State, UCLA, USC, Florida State and Utah.
He took his first unofficial visits to UCLA and Washington last year before traveling to USC, Washington State, Utah, Michigan, Michigan State and Hawaii in the last couple of months. He was able to meet his idol Ulu-Perry at UCLA.
Joining Bishop Gorman, Isaia already knew a close friend in cousin Palaie Gaoteote. Gaoteote is a 2018 linebacker. He says that when he first arrived at the school all the players were stunned at how huge he was, but even the he admits that he was nervous meeting them.
He’ll get to play for head coach Kenny Sanchez who guided Bishop Gorman to a 15-0 season and a state title. He calls playing for coach Sanchez great.
“He [Sanchez] really cares about me. He wants me to help out with the team a lot and do my best. I’ve had coaches like him before.”
As for his ultimate goal, Isaia wants to get to college and start his life.
“If I do get in the NFL sure I’ll play a couple years, but I really want to get a good job and start a family.”
He plans to be a sports doctor.
Bishop Gorman is one of those stellar schools that is not only loaded year after year, but it is almost like you are watching college football because the facilities are so top notch.
Jacob Isaia is coming into his own as a right tackle and he should be in for a nice junior season. Expect the offers to pour in after he shows off his pass protection and overall game for his new team.
Favorite player to watch – OL Fred Ulu-Perry
Playlist before games – Eminem “Lose Yourself”, Macklemore “Can’t Hold Us”, NWA, Tupac, The Notorious B.I.G.
Favorite movies – The Godfather
Favorite TV show – Game of Thrones
Fun fact about you that you think no one knows – “I have a lot of shoes. Around 20. My favorite part are my customized Jordan’s.”
Nickname from teammates or friends – “Bubba”
Game film: Isaia’s Hudl tape
Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at firstname.lastname@example.org.