The Massachusetts Minutemen began the 2016 recruiting cycle somewhat slowly, and were the last FBS team to secure a commitment when they received their first two at the end of July. However they have been a team on fire recently, picking up their sixth commitment in the last two weeks when ATH Isaiah Rodgers out of Blake High School in Tampa, FL pledged to the Minutemen yesterday.
Rodgers was kind enough to speak with us briefly today, and he mentioned several factors that played in to his decision to commit to UMass.
"The coaches' relationship with me and with each other," Rodgers told us. "The strength of schedule they have, and [the opportunity to] go in right away and play. [There is a] great sports management program and they're even ranked #2 in the country in campus food."
All those factors were very important to Rodgers, but he also took time to check with other Minutemen recruits for their opinions, and hearkened back to the in-home visit UMass coaches Charles Walker and Steve Costello conducted with him and his mom.
"I also know like three commits they loved the campus," Rodgers said. "And our home visit was great, seeing the bond we have and my mom has with them."
Rodgers is listed as an athlete but told us that he was recruited and will be coming in as a cornerback. He has yet to see the UMass campus in Amherst but does have an official visit scheduled for January 22nd, 2016, a visit he is "very excited" for.
Rodgers will also be officially visiting Tennessee State and Samford of the FCS in January, and has already officially visited Eastern Michigan. Rodgers chose the Minutemen over offers from all those schools, along with Buffalo.
Rodgers is a very exciting athlete for UMass, and should also be able to contribute in the return game as well as at cornerback. UMass continues its good work in Florida as they have have four commitments from Sunshine State athletes, and are sure to secure more before the 2016 cycle is over.
Make sure to check out Rodgers' highlight tape here, courtesy of Hudl: