Pac-12 Showing Interest in Hayward Back Jullen Ison
by Lorenzo Reyna There are the prospects who enter Passing Down tournaments with multiple offers in tow, then there’s the players utilizing the renown 7-on-7 state tournament to scratch and claw for their first scholarship pledge.
In the case of Hayward (Calif.) Moreau Catholic running back Jullen Ison, the 3,000-yard rusher from last year, finds himself as part of this demographic: the population who is offer-less.
Now, he hopes his big plays against the Northern California 40-team slate at Chabot College on February 28 can lead to a college coach extending a free education and football opportunity to him.
“I’m out here trying to work hard and get my name in front of all these coaches,” Ison said.
At a sculpted 5-foot-8 and 190-pounds, Ison has the physique of a Greek statue. His muscular build and speed allowed him to become TMP Elite’s latest offensive weapon at the disposal of the legendary Terrance Leonard, who has helped send the likes of Joe Mixon, D.J. Calhoun, C.J. Spencer, Isaiah Langley, N.J. Falo, Jordan Thomas, Devin Jones and countless others to the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision level.
Ison - known more for running through and around defenders at Moreau Catholic - hauled down some crucial short receptions and pulled in a nice one handed grab while sandwiched between defenders during pool play. Ison calls himself a coachable and dependable player.
“I feel like I can execute when the time is needed,” Ison said. “I’m also a hard worker and a leader on the field. I have that ability to make plays when needed.”
He’s aiming to continue the lineage of FBS and Football Championship Subdivision talent that TMP produces.
“I just look forward to doing the same. Continue to keep that tradition going,” Ison said.
While he finds motivation through the TMP alums, he’s also inspired by the journey of one of his favorite running backs in the NFL: Super Bowl 50 champion and former Bay Area star C.J. Anderson, who overcame being from crime-ridden Richmond to becoming one of the offensive cornerstones for the Denver Broncos.
“He’s a local big guy. I look up to him a lot. Guys like that motivate me to keep pushing,” Ison said.
Ison thinks he’s inching close to his first offer. He says “I’ve been talking to Oregon State a lot. Also UC Davis, Utah State, Wyoming and a couple of PAC-12 schools.”
But is it a slap in the face for a 3,044-yard rusher from a year ago to not have any offers while his Class of 2017 peers stack the pledges?
“A little bit,” Ison said. “But I just try to go out here and work as hard as I can, plus help coaches see that the 3,000 yards is as real as I am. My pops tells me ‘Don’t worry about the offers. It’s early in the season. They’ll come later.’”