Image Credit: 247Sports
2013 Statistics: 0 catches, 0 yards, 0.0 YPC, 0 TD; 2 tackles, 0.0 sacks, 0 INT, 0 TD
Best Games: vs. Clemson (0 catches, 0 yards, 0.0 YPC, 0 TD; Started at Tight End)
Worst Games: vs. Connecticut/at Florida State (Did Not Play)
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One of the question marks for the 2014 Maryland football team is the tight end position. After Dave Stinebaugh graduated last season, there was no clear choice to take over the starting role. During spring camp, Randy Edsall named P.J. Gallo and Andrew Isaacs as co-starters at tight end. While Gallo certainly has talent, I believe that Isaacs will end up winning the job sooner rather than later.
As a true freshman, Andrew Isaacs played in 11 games last season, but did not record a single offensive statistic. In fact, the only statistic he recorded last season was two tackles, which he recorded on special teams. He saw most of his playing time come on special teams, with occasional snaps when the team was in a goal-line formation. Mike Locksley never uses two tight end formations unless he is in a goal-line formation, so the playing time for backup tight ends is scarce to say the least. But Isaacs is ready to take over the starting job now.
It was a big deal when this young man from Manchester, Connecticut switched his commitment from Boston College to Maryland. Rivals ranked him as a 4-star recruit, and the best high school football player in the state of Connecticut. He was also ranked by them as the 9th best tight end in the nation. Maryland was in dire need of a tight end, after their top four players at the position all graduated within two years. Isaacs would be given the opportunity to learn under Dave Stinebaugh for a year before being expected to contribute as an offensive weapon.
When Andrew Isaacs is on the field, fans will see a much different approach to the tight end position than they saw out of Dave Stinebaugh. While Stinebaugh was a great blocker, and opened up big holes in the running game, he wasn’t exactly a playmaker in the passing game. That will all change when Andrew Isaacs steps to the line of scrimmage. He adds a totally different dynamic from the tight end position, one the Terps haven’t seen since Matt Furstenburg. Maryland has had some good tight ends in the recent past, highlighted by players like Furstenburg and Vernon Davis. Andrew Isaacs certainly has the talent to be the next great Maryland tight end.
Mike Locksley likes to use his tight ends in a lot of different ways. Occasionally, they are lined up in a traditional spot on the end of the line of scrimmage. At other times, they are lined up in the wing behind the line of scrimmage, more free to roam to either side of the formation. You will also see them lined up in the backfield as a part of the inverted bone formation that Locksley likes to use. And the last way that you’ll see them used is split out wide as a receiver. Andrew Isaacs is the type of all-around talent that can excel in an offense like this.
While Isaacs is a proficient pass-catcher, he is no slob in the blocking department. He is a big guy, standing 6-foot-2 and weighing in at 250 pounds. He uses his size well, and is able to take on linebackers with ease. He also has a year of experience in Mike Locksley’s offense, giving him an understanding of exactly what he wants out of a tight end. He is a very versatile player, and that is why I believe he is the best option at tight end for the Terps moving forward.