If anybody wants to know why giving Al Golden a four-year contract extension last Friday was important for the University of Miami's recruiting efforts, Cypress Bay High offensive lineman Danny Isidora is willing to explain.
Tuesday morning, the 6-3, 340-pound offensive lineman for the Lightning called Golden and UM and committed to be a part of the Canes' 2012 signing class -- all a result of what transpired last week according to Cypress Bay coach Mark Guandolo.
"He had Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina and Florida State all after him, but on the back of his mind UM was always his favorite," Guandolo said. "He's been a UM fan since he was a young kid. He always dreamed of playing there. But he was a little apprehensive with all the talk about the NCAA sanctions and Coach Golden and the Penn State stuff. When coach got the extension that helped him make the final decision."
Isidora, rated as the 13th best offensive guard in the country by ESPN and the 29th best at his position according to Rivals, was being recruited by UM offensive line coach Art Kehoe to be a pulling guard according to Guandolo.
That relationship with Kehoe, Isidora said, ultimately paid off. Isidora said he and Kehoe spoke on a weekly basis. In fact, the first person he called to give his commitment to was Kehoe. But with the coach on a flight and unavailable, Isidora said he called Golden directly and the coach was thrilled to hear the news.
“I just love the coaches -- Coach Golden, Coach Kehoe. I’ve talked to Coach Kehoe once a week all season about everything, football, life. He’s a good guy,” said Isidora, whose mother is from Nassau, Bahamas and father is from Curacao. “Coach Kehoe kept me informed with everything regarding the NCAA [investigation], so I felt like they were being upfront and honest.”
In high school, Isidora served as the Lightning's starting left tackle for three years. Guandolo said Isidora benches 350 pounds, squats 450 pounds and power cleans 350 pounds. Guandolo said Isidora is a bright kid (3.9 GPA) who has always excelled picking up the diverse blocking schemes his team has used in its Wing-T offense.
Isidora said he would like to shed about 10 pounds "of baby fat" before he gets to UM. He doesn't mind redshirting either, but will play right away if needed.
"He's a hard worker, really dedicated young man with a great attitude. He's a quiet kid and not boastful, a great demeanor kid you like to be around," Guandolo said. "He got bigger and stronger as time went on here. He's very explosive and is a heck of an athlete. Great, great feet for a big guy. I think he's going to be physical in that running offense, be a pulling type guy for them."
Isidora is supposed to meet with Golden Thursday. He's the second senior at Cypress Bay to commit to UM. Linebacker Josh Witt (6-2, 220) committed back in the summer.
The Lightning have a trio of talented juniors including star receiver/defensive back Alex Montgomery (6-1, 190), running back Matthew Dayes (5-11, 190) and quarterback Jaranta Lewis (6-0, 180).
Isidora becomes the third offensive lineman to join UM's class. The Canes also have commitments from Miami Norland left tackle Ereck Flowers (6-6, 305) and Fork Union Military Academy's Taylor Gadbois (6-8, 300).
Here is a highlight reel of Isidora. He's No. 74