This past week Clearwater (Fla.) Clearwater Academy International three-star defensive tackle Isaiah Hastings released a top eight consisting of an interesting mixture that includes both Power 5 and Group of 5 programs and spans coast-to-coast.
Recruitment is still 100% open. Thanks you to all the coaches that have offered me. I’m very blessed to be put in this position and I thank God🙏🏾….Here’s my top 8‼️@CAIKnightsFB @CoachJesse18 @CoachMeyerCAI @CoachFeldman81 @commitcoverage pic.twitter.com/qiDM20IXTi
— Isaiah Hastings (@isaiah1hastings) August 11, 2021
Florida, Indiana, Miami, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, Toledo, and West Virginia currently sit atop his leaderboard, but they aren't necessarily his finalists.
“This is my top eight for right now,” explained Hastings. “These are who I'm talking to the most and the schools I like the most right now, but my recruitment is still open. It's not final or anything until I know who else is going to recruit me.”
Hastings visited several programs in June, including Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, Michigan, and South Florida – but still has all five of his official visits remaining to take this fall if he so chooses.
“I had a great time on all the campus visits and camps,” said Hastings. “They all made a great impression on me. Nothing stood out at any of them over the others. I don't have any plans for any [official] visits yet. Schools that I will probably give a visit to are Oregon, Florida, I'm really liking Indiana, Miami too, and Missouri.”
Hastings, who hails from Canada, is somewhat new to American football, taking up organized football just two years ago.
That makes his rise up the rankings and the attention he is getting, even more remarkable.
“It's been amazing, to get some of these offers, not everyone gets these opportunities,” he said.
One of those opportunities was camping at Florida back in June.
The 6-foot-4, 310-pounder was one of the biggest surprises at Florida's Elite Camp. It was there that he first began forming his relationship with Gators defensive line coach David Turner.
“I have a great relationship with him,” explained Hastings. “I got a taste of his coaching at the camp and now we've been talking a lot. He's a great teacher and knows what he's talking about. Look at all the guys he's put in the league.”
Up next for Hastings should be official visits, which could begin in September. What isn't coming up anytime soon is him naming a leader.
“I don't have a leader right now, but a school that's really showing me something is Indiana. The way they’re recruiting me and showing me the culture they are building there. I wouldn't say that they are the leaders, but they are the one that really intrigues me.”
The Inside Scoop: He wouldn't call them his outright leader, but twice during the interview, he talked up Indiana. Obviously, they are close to the Canadian border, as is Michigan and Toledo (that seemed like a strange addition until you see where they are located). Though Florida's in is proximity to his high school and how much he likes Turner, he actually spoke more highly of Miami during our conversation. Really though, I wouldn't place money on any of his options at the moment. Florida will have to get him back on campus this fall. Then again, if they get Walter Nolen and Jamari Lyons, they might not even care.