Toronto native talks new offer from Alabama
Isaiah Hastings, three-star defensive tackle from Clearwater Academy International in Clearwater, Florida, has seen his stock soar during the course of the last few months after moving to the United States from Toronto. Hastings moved to Florida in June, but his family remains in Canada. He lives in student housing provided b Clearwater Academy.
Hastings, who measures 6-foot-4.5, 290-pounds, missed his entire junior season due COVID-19 restrictions in his country for organized football. He had to make a life-changing decision to benefit his college future: move south and get noticed by schools throughout the country.
"The opportunity was there," Hastings said. "I made a big jump in my game and didn't get to play during my junior season. It was a tough decision, but it's something I had to do to get noticed.
"We still have COVID restrictions in Canada. My parents are still in Toronto. They are very proud of me."
The fast-rising prospect was first noticed at a Mercer camp in June. He reeled in several offers and released a top eight in August from the list of suitors. The schools included Florida, Indiana, Miami, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, Toledo and West Virginia.
Hastings has since added offers from Alabama and Georgia. He has not removed any of the schools from his top eight, but now includes the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs as favorites. He mentioned Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Miami, Michigan and Missouri as the schools recruiting him the hardest.
He will take an official visit to Oregon on October 15. It is the only official visit currently scheduled. Hastings has taken two unofficial visits to Florida this season including the Alabama game this past weekend.
"It was a great game," he said. "Both teams played great. It was a great experience. It was great to see Bama and Florida- two great teams. It was the game of the year. I really enjoyed it."
Hastings announced on Sunday evening his latest offer from the Crimson Tide. Alabama defensive line coach Freddie Roach attended his game on Friday night.
"Alabama has been talking to me for a little bit," Hastings said. "They have been keeping in touch with me. Coach Roach came to see me play. He really liked how I played from the tape he had seen before. I talked to him a few days later and that's when he told me about the offer.
"It's amazing to get an offer from them. It's a really good feeling. It's crazy. They are the best team in college football. One of the best in college football history. It's a very prestigious school."
Several coaches on the Alabama staff have talked with Hastings during the the last few weeks including Coach Roach, Pete Golding, Holmon Wiggins and a few graduate assistants. He also had his first conversation with Alabama head coach Nick Saban on Wednesday.
"I talked to Coach Saban yesterday," he said. "It was a great talk. He was just telling me about the program and asked where I am from. He told me what all they do at Alabama. He told me some stuff they like about me.
"They want me to visit. I probably will, but I do not have a date set yet. Alabama is one of the best programs in the NCAA. They produce a lot of great players. They develop a lot of players. They are one of the best schools in the country as far as football."
Hastings will have to schedule his other four official visits soon. He is set to graduate in December. He said each school is recruiting him to play any position on the defensive front. Schools like his versatility, and he can play on the inside or out.