Class of 2019 Athlete Isaiah Hazel Searching for College Fit

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Class of 2019 athlete Isaiah Hazel knows that football will be his ticket to college, but he’s also looking at the bigger picture.

Hazel, Rivals’ No. 10 player in Maryland for the Class of 2019, claims 10 offers thus far, including Virginia Tech, Maryland, Kentucky and Syracuse. While football programs are a big part of his recruitment, they’re not the only part.

As Hazel takes college visits this offseason, he’s made sure to look at one important aspect. He wants his future school to shape him for his career outside of sport.

“The first thing I want to find is if that school will make me as a man after football,” Hazel said. “I want to be successful after that, because some schools are just about football. I want to feel comfortable at the school and make sure it’s a place that will make me a better man. I look at the people around the education and if they’re going to make me better.”

This spring and summer, Hazel got a good look at how schools prepare their athletes on and off the field at Clemson, Virginia Tech, Maryland and Syracuse. A few facets jumped out to him at each stop.

“When I went to Clemson, the facility stood out the most,” Hazel said. “They were about education and academics. All of them were talking about me being better outside of football. That was a good thing to hear from coaching staffs. It made me feel like a fan and they all showed me the love I deserve.”

Hazel stopped by Blacksburg during spring practice. He watched how the players conducted themselves, how the coaches interacted and spoke in-depth with his recruiter, assistant coach Holmon Wiggins.

“One thing I remember was me and Coach Wiggins, when we were just walking to get some food,” Hazel said. “He was telling me releases and routes to work on in coverages. He was telling me about the game and we had a great conversation. I talked to the head coach (Justin Fuente) and he told me how everything goes on, how it’s a family and education is first. He said being a man outside of football is bigger than anything in life.”