Penn State coach James Franklins says Ravens rookie Adisa Issac embodies toughness

When the Baltimore Ravens selected Edge rusher Adisa Isaac out of Penn State in the third round with the 93rd overall pick, they got a true leader. Isaac co-captained this year’s PSU team, which led the nation in the fewest first downs allowed (181), sacks per game (3.8), total sacks (49), and tackles for loss per game (8.5).

As the stats show, no team was as adept at getting into opponents’ backfields as the Nittany Lions, and it was Issac who led the team in sacks and tackles for a loss.

Isaac and his running mate Chop Robinson (who was drafted 21st overall by Miami in the first round) shared the Penn State defensive MVP award last season. They led a unit that ranked second in total defense (247.6 yards per game) and third in scoring defense (13.5 ppg).

Isaac embodies toughness, according to his college coach.

“Adisa is an exceptional football player who will thrive with the Baltimore Ravens organization,” said Penn State head coach James Franklin.

“He is a special young man and extremely deserving of this opportunity. He has embodied toughness and resilience throughout his life, while also showcasing impressive athleticism.

“Adisa chose to return for an additional season, earned his degree and served as a team captain. That decision significantly benefited both his personal development and our team’s success.

“He was a two-time All-Big Ten honoree, including a first-team selection last season, while totaling 14.5 career sacks and 31.5 tackles for loss. I couldn’t be prouder of Adisa and I am excited to see him excel in his professional football career.”

Robinson and Issac practiced against Olu Fashanu every day during their time in Happy Valley, and this no doubt helped them prepare for the next level. The New York Jets took Fashanu 11th overall on Thursday night.

Issac’s position group coach also used the word tough to describe him.

“The Baltimore Ravens are getting a tough, athletic, and relentless player in Adisa Isaac,” said PSU defensive line coach Deion Barnes.

“Adisa is an incredibly talented player, and the competitive edge he plays with is what makes him extra special. He is also bringing great leadership to the NFL. Throughout his career here, he made sure always to keep his teammates accountable.”

He is the seventh PSU alum to be selected by the Ravens all-time, and he joins two former Nittany Lions in Charm City: defensive end Odafe Oweh and punter Jordan Stout.

Story originally appeared on Ravens Wire