The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

January 30, 2009

COLUMN: Isdaner not afraid to take NFL draft risk

MORGANTOWN — When the National Football League and the NCAA got together and created the rule that allows a collegiate athlete to leave for the league three years after his high school class graduated, they had in mind creating an early path for the can’t miss players.

The idea was to allow the Amos Zereoues or the Steve Slatons to jump into the first, second or third round, to gobble up a nice bonus and spot on an NFL roster. The league even set up a service to assist a college player in making his decision, letting him know if it appeared he would be drafted and in which round.

If you weren’t going to be an early pick, the conventional wisdom was, you might as well return to college and play out that final season of eligibility and maybe increase your value to an NFL team.

Oh, every so often a player who doesn’t really have much of a chance to go in the draft decides he might as well give it a go because school just isn’t his thing, but for the most part the pool is top-heavy with truly talented players who figure to not only be drafted but win a roster spot.

Then along comes West Virginia University’s Greg Isdaner.

Isdaner is a not the kind of person the NFL was counting on entering the draft early, but then Isdaner never has been one to march to everyone else’s drummer. While WVU players would come to interviews in WVU sweats or team gear, Isdaner would come bouncing in wearing his Phillies jersey and maybe a Phillies cap.

And while some of the players had trouble putting words into compound sentences, Isdaner would use words that had reporters rushing for their Funk and Wagnalls.

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Bob Herzel
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