While many area football prospects were attempting to stockpile scholarship offers with stops at one-day college camps in recent weeks, Eleanor Roosevelt rising junior Isaiah Prince opted for a decidedly different summer schedule.
Prince stayed busy working out and preparing for summer school before making his camp debut just down Route 193 at the University of Maryland on June 22. The 6-foot-6, 270-pound lineman left College Park that afternoon with his sixth Football Bowl Subdivision scholarship offer and a better sense of what’s to come in the recruiting process.
“I went just to see what camps are like, really,” Prince said. “I knew [the Maryland coaches] really wanted me to come to their camp, but I didn’t know what to expect.”
After playing every snap at left tackle for Eleanor Roosevelt in his debut varsity season last fall, Prince has emerged as a coveted recruit, based mostly off his impressive sophomore game film and physical measurables.
In May, Virginia and Penn State came through with offers on the same day to break the ice, and Prince had also added Temple and Old Dominion to his list of suitors before attending camp at Maryland.
Although the Florida and Penn State offers caught him by surprise, he’s looking forward to a thorough recruitment.
“I’ll definitely get a chance to go out and see some places,” said Prince, no relation to All-Met McNamara lineman Damian Prince. “I have to find out more about these schools other than just football to pick which one is right for me.”
Eleanor Roosevelt Coach Tom Green said Prince has already improved markedly since arriving at the Greenbelt school as a 6-foot-4, 220-pound freshman. He’s packed on muscle and maintained his speed thanks to dogged work in the weight room. Green said he has consistently clocked the lineman in the 40-yard dash at or just under 5 seconds and expects him to add another 15-20 pounds before his high school career ends.
After a season on junior varsity, Prince became a force on offense last fall for the Raiders, who made the Maryland 4A playoffs for the 11th time in 13 years.
Green plans to move Prince to right tackle this season to take advantage of his skills in an option attack that has traditionally run to that side more often. He’s also slated to start at defensive tackle for the first time as a junior.
“He has to work on his pass [protection] a little bit, but hey, he’s just a sophomore, so he’s got plenty of time,” Green said. “I think you’ll see a big difference this year now that he’s got a year of good experience under his belt.”
As his recruitment heats up, Prince’s more immediate concern is getting into academic position to accept a scholarship.
A native of Brooklyn who moved to the area for eighth grade, he said he only began turning his grades around after hearing from Green that Maryland had expressed initial interest in him as a football prospect late last spring.
Prince buckled down in the classroom and garnered a 2.7 grade point average in his sophomore year. He is spending six hours a day, four days a week re-taking ninth-grade English this month to make up for his slow academic start.
“Everything’s getting better at school,” Prince said shortly after finishing his first class at Eleanor Roosevelt on Monday. “Just studying more, going over my notes and doing all my homework every night.”