The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about them all. One Foot Down’s player profile series will take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2019 season.
#94, Isaiah Foskey, Defensive End
Isaiah Foskey officially committed to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on February 6th, 2019 during Signing Day. Foskey had been a verbal commit behind closed doors to the Irish staff since December but wanted to wait to announce his decision in order to celebrate with his other teammates on Signing Day. To show he was a strong verbal commit, Foskey did not take any official visits to other schools between December and February. He selected the Irish over offers from the Washington Huskies, California Golden Bears, Michigan Wolverines, and Ohio State Buckeyes. He cited academics as the area where Notre Dame separated itself from the pack.
Foskey is a consensus 4 star recruit and was rated as the 13th best drop defensive end in the nation by 247Sports. ESPN ranked him as the 23rd best overall defensive end in the country. Isaiah Foskey’s hometown is Antioch, California. He attended high school at De La Salle High School. He stands 6’ 5’’ and weighs 240 pounds.
During his senior campaign, Isaiah Foskey played both defensive end and tight end. He finished the year with 64 tackles, 10 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 1 interception, which he returned for a touchdown. On offense his stats were far more modest. He caught 7 passes, 3 of which were for touchdowns. He only recorded 168 yards receiving during the season.
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Isaiah Foskey operates on his own time. As the lone member of the 2019 recruiting class to sign in February, it is clear that he is not worried about everyone else’s timetable. Though a late addition, Brian Kelly and Mike Elston were more than happy to accommodate another talented defensive end on the roster. Based on his athletic frame, Foskey could start the clock on his eligibility by forcing his way into a situational pass rushing role this season.
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American foxhounds have been bred for centuries for the specific purpose of hunting and tracking foxes. These dogs look very similar to beagles. However, foxhounds are leaner and taller than a beagle. Foskey is a rare combination of length and athleticism. He was brought to campus track down as many quarterbacks as possible throughout the country.
If this was early in Brian Kelly’s tenure, Foskey would be expected to provide meaningful snaps all season long. As the roster stands now, Foskey may have a tough time even seeing the field. Notre Dame has not possessed this many quality defensive lineman in years. Julian Okwara, Daelin Hayes, and Justin Ademilola are all but guaranteed to see the bulk of the snaps this season at the drop defensive end. Do not be surprised if Foskey follows in Justin Ademilola’s path from last year. The staff will look to get Foskey’s feet wet during a maximum of four games this season in order to preserve a year of eligibility. Barring a rash of injuries or underachieving seniors, Foskey should aim to use this year to learn as much as he can from the elder statesman in the defensive line room.
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Isaiah Foskey possesses the length and athleticism that college coaches drool over. Expect Foskey to become a dominant player for the Irish defense in 2020. Who knows, Brian Kelly may even have a few trick plays up his sleeve in the red zone to get his athletic defensive end a few offensive touchdowns.