Trieu: MSU target Isaia has family ties to Spartans

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News

Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman offensive lineman Jacob Isaia does not know where is going to college yet, as his scholarship options continue to grow by the week.

No matter what his final list of choices looks like, they are almost certain to include two schools he has family connections to, UCLA, where his father Sale Isaia played, and Michigan State, where his grandfather Bob Apisa played.

When the Spartans offered in January, they were only his second offer. Following that, his list has grown to include the Bruins, Minnesota, Oregon State, Virginia, Utah, Kansas State, Hawaii and more.

He visited Michigan State last April and is scheduled to visit again on April 1 for the spring game.

His grandfather did not just play at Michigan State, he was a two-time All-American, played in the Rose Bowl, and was part of two national championship teams.

“I’ve been there a lot,” Isaia told Spartan Nation’s Hondo Carpenter. “I’ve been to the stadium and I’ve been to the athletic facility, too. But I like the community, I like that it’s a great fan base over there. I’ve heard a lot about what they do, and it’s pretty amazing.

“I’m grateful that the community has loved Grandpa and taken care of him,” he continued. “If I commit there or if I want to go there, I just hope they treat me the same.”

Trieu: Michigan recruiting set to heat up again

Isaia has said he is not planning to commit early. He has done his due diligence, visiting schools on the West Coast, but also getting to other places like Virginia and Georgia Tech. He will visit Minnesota shortly before returning to East Lansing, so by the time he is ready to make a commitment, he should have all the information he needs to make the best decision he can.

The UCLA offer was another important one, but he still is keeping his list as open as possible.

“UCLA, it means a lot. My dad, he was really proud of me and he actually kind of cried a little bit. He was happy for me. UCLA is up there. I’m still waiting for whoever wants to offer me. I’m not going to make a list or say who’s a favorite. I feel like there are more schools who are interested that will come out.”

Oregon, Oregon State and Stanford are among the other schools who are in contact but have not offered.

With the Spartans, he says their development of talent is another big reason he holds the program in such high regard.

“My Michigan State offer is also huge. It’s a nationally respected program, and MSU coaches are known for turning out great players.”

If he does choose Michigan State in the end, it will be on the school’s merits and it will be his choice, not a choice made because of family ties.

His grandfather made certain to remind him it is his choice shortly after the Spartans offered.

“I feel like Grandpa telling me that helps me make a better choice and relieves pressure that I don’t have to go to Michigan State,” Isaia said. “Now that he’s saying, ‘It’s up to you, it’s your choice,’ I feel like I don’t have to hold this burden or disappoint Grandpa if I choose a different school.”

In-state sophomores targeted

East Kentwood defensive tackle Mazi Smith, a 2019 prospect, was offered a scholarship by Michigan State last month. Over 6-foot-3 and 280 pounds, Smith has additional offers from Wisconsin, Central Michigan and Bowling Green.

His teammate, Logan Brown, a 6-foot-6 offensive tackle also in the 2019 class, already has a Michigan State offer and plans to visit the Spartans this weekend.

Ohio linebackers offered

Michigan State offered two linebackers in Ohio last week, Columbus St. Francis De Sales’ Brian Asamoah and Lakota West’s Xavier Peters.

Asamoah (6-1, 210 pounds), who comes from the same school as current Spartan Austin Andrews, has additional offers from Oklahoma, Penn State, Michigan and more.

Peters (6-4, 226 pounds) holds offers from Oregon, Florida, Tennessee, Wisconsin and more.

is a 5-foot-11, 175-pound defensive back and running back being recruited by most schools as an athlete.

He has seen his recruitment take off in the last two weeks. Alabama was the first school to offer him in late February and since then, Tennessee, Ole Miss and Florida have offered, in addition to Michigan State.

More information

Jacob Isaia profile

Mazi Smith profile

Xavier Peters profile

Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for in 2005 and began managing the entire Midwest in 2009. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at