Adisa Isaac ready for breakout season on the edge

Story posted August 2, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Micheal Bolger

The 51st annual Big Ten Conference kicked off last Wednesday, with seven teams speaking to the media throughout the day. Amongst those teams was Penn State with James Franklin and three Nittany Lions, Olu Fashanu, Adisa Isaac and Keaton Ellis.

As the excitement built throughout Lucas Oil Field for the start of the 2023 Big Ten season, Isaac said he has taken every moment as it comes.

“My mental approach is taking every moment as the moment,” Isaac said. “Not trying to look ahead too far, taking one rep at a time. I feel guys are trying to rush it. Let’s hurry up and do this and let’s do that. I just focus on right now because it’ll stack up and give you that end result you’re looking for.”

Isaac is a Brooklyn, New York, native entering his fifth year with the football program. He enjoyed a breakout 2022 campaign with four sacks, 28 tackles and 11 tackles for loss that ranked sixth in the Big Ten.

Isaac’s success didn’t come easy after suffering a torn ACL injury in 2021 that left him on the sidelines during the Nittany Lions 7-6 season.

“When you’re rehabbing, it’s a completely different monster,” Isaac said. “You’re trying to get back to where you’re at, not getting better, just getting back. For me, it was an adjustment, but ultimately I got through it, and I’m looking forward to keep going.”

Headed into 2023, Isaac will have the chance to develop across an entire summer and training camp to make up for the lost time in 2021.

Not only will the 6-4, 254-pound defensive end look to improve on himself but also the way he pairs with his teammates to leave an impact on the field. One duo that Isaac expressed he’s looking forward to building on throughout the Big Ten media days was with junior Chop Robinson.

“It helps a lot. It takes the pressure off of me, and I hope I take some pressure off of him,” Isaac said when asked about what it’s like having Robinson opposite of him. “We’re going to compliment each other in a way.”

Winning in the trenches has been key in what separates the best from the rest in the Big Ten. As the blue and white gear up for a season with high expectations, players like Robinson and Isaac could be the difference makers in what makes or breaks Penn State in 2023.

With a ton of eyes on Penn State’s talent on the edge, Isaac said that the pressure seems to be off of them thanks to how strong the depth of the team is. Even Franklin came out onto the podium for his opening statement and boasted about how deep the roster is.

“I think we’ve got a chance to be better up front with our defensive line,” Franklin said. “We are bigger. We are more athletic. We are physical. I think we have a legitimate three deep across the board.”

Micheal Bolger is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email