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For Penn State’s Adisa Isaac, declaring for NFL draft is all about family

ATLANTA — Adisa Isaac’s decision to declare for the NFL draft not surprisingly came down to wanting to provide for his family.

“That’s what I do it for,” Isaac said Thursday. “That’s my why. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. That definitely was a big factor in moving on.”

Isaac, an All-Big Ten first-team defensive end, announced his decision late Wednesday night to bypass his final year of eligibility at Penn State.

Lisa Wiltshire-Isaac raised him and his three non-verbal siblings as a single mother in New York City. Isaac has helped his mother with their care from a young age.

“I feel that God has put me here to take care of my mom, my brothers and my sister,” he told the Reading Eagle last year. “It’s eye-opening, for sure, to see my place in this family and my place on earth. I’m here for a reason. There’s no way I’m here just to be here.

“My goal is to live for them. Everything I do is for them.”

Pro Football Focus has rated him as the 89th-best prospect in next spring’s NFL draft, which would make him a third-round pick. His first contract could bring him the kind of money his family has never seen.

“Growing up there were a lot of ups and downs,” Isaac said. “Sometimes when I’m going through something like a tough workout, I reflect back on that and it drives and pushes me because those are not times that I want to go back to.

“I’m blessed and humbled to be in this position to have this type of decision. It’s a real moment.”

Isaac ranks third in the Big Ten in sacks with 7.5 and fourth in tackles for loss with 15.

“Honestly it’s been tremendous to see him play,” defensive tackle Dvon Ellies said. “You’ve seen him play. You’ve seen how he’s operated in the last 12 weeks. It’s just been really special.”

Isaac considered leaving Penn State for the NFL after last season before he decided to return.

“Everything happens for a reason,” he said. “That’s why I stay even keel, trust the process, stick to the gut feeling and keep moving along in a positive direction. Everything ended up panning out for me. I’m happy.”

Hardy decisions: Cornerback Daequan Hardy said he struggled to decide whether to return to Penn State next year.

Once he declared for the NFL draft last week, he knew he would play in the Peach Bowl.

“It (deciding to play in the bowl game) wasn’t as difficult as deciding to leave or stay,” Hardy said. “I just want to go out there and put another game on film. I feel like I’m one of those under-the-radar guys. I feel like this is another chance to prove who I am and maybe turn some heads.”

Hardy has enjoyed a terrific season, earning All-Big Ten second-team honors as a return specialist and third-team honors as a defensive back.

He ranks first in the conference with a 14.5 punt return average and leads the nation with two touchdowns, both against Massachusetts. On defense, he has seven pass breakups, two interceptions and three tackles for loss.

“I’m not the biggest in stature,” he said. “I’m not one of the top, top prospects going into the draft. I know that. This is another opportunity for me to showcase my skills and make myself more known to the world.”

Ellies waits: Penn State defensive tackle Dvon Ellies said he will wait until after the Peach Bowl to decide whether he will return to the Lions next season or declare for the NFL draft.

“To be completely honest with you, it has just been kind of exhausting,” he said. “There’s a lot that goes into it, a lot of different things to consider. It’s a big decision, not just for this year but for 30 years down the road. This is one I want to take my time with.”

Ellies has played in every game this season with seven starts and has 22 tackles, including five for losses. It’s been his best season for the Lions.

“I’ve seen growth in my game from West Virginia (the season opener) to now,” Ellies said. “I feel like my growth has been tremendous. Whether I take the next step or I stay here, I feel like I’ll grow continuously.”

Source: Berkshire mont

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