(Photo by WVU Athletics)
We all remember Isaiah Esdale, right? Possibly the best set of hands on WVU’s offense during his three seasons of playing time in Morgantown. Yeah, that guy was underrated, I know.
Following the 2021 season, Esdale made the decision to enter the transfer portal and found himself on the Rice Owls. What the folks out in Houston, Texas got was a sure handed, tough, hard nosed receiver that will do whatever he can to catch the football. This was evident during his touchdown catch against Texas Tech in 2021 when he got absolutely blasted across the middle, just in case you needed an example.
This season, his final season of eligibility, Esdale has already made his presence known as a solid possession receiver for the Owls. Throughout four games, the Delaware native has rallied 17 catches for 219 yards and has yet to find the end zone. His best performance came this past Saturday in Rice’s 34-27 loss to the Houston Cougars where he caught 5 passes for 64 yards.
These stats that he has accumulated are similar to what he did during his time at WVU. He wasn’t one that found the end zone very often, but his presence was felt between the 20s when his team needed him most. Securing important catches that often kept drives alive, leading to pivotal scores for the offense. If there was ever a definition for a “possession receiver,” Esdale is that guy.
While it would’ve been fun to watch him in Graham Harrell’s offense, it is refreshing to see the former Mountaineer continuing what he is known best for out west. He has the potential to be a very special player, and once he finds his stride, I have no doubt that he will begin to catch the eyes of fans and NFL Draft scouts across the nation.
Over the course of his WVU career, Esdale made several incredible plays that played crucial parts in victories. His biggest moment came against the TCU Horned Frogs in 2019 when he caught the game-winning touchdown pass from Jarret Doege.
Keep on the great effort at Rice, Mr. Esdale!
Once a Mountaineer, Always a Mountaineer!