Undersized underdog’s road to the NFL runs through Tampa

By Kevin O’Donnell, FOX 13 Sports
TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) – At 5 foot 9, University of Massachusetts wide receiver Andy Isabella doesn’t stand out in a crowd, but what he lacks in height, he makes up with incredible speed and quickness.

Isabella clocked the fastest 40-yard-dash among receivers at this year’s NFL Combine at 4.31 seconds, just a blink from being the best, despite a clock malfunction that initially had him at 4.56 and could have cost him millions.

“Crazy, ‘cause all the scouts were texting me that, ‘Oh, we had you at high 4.2’s and stuff,’” Isabella told FOX 13’s Kevin O’Donnell. “There was no way. I felt fast

. Something wasn’t right, but I stayed positive about it and Isabella has been in Tampa working under the direction of Yo Murphy and Hall of Famer Randy Moss at ASPI since December. He made his first big splash winning the MVP at the Senior Bowl.

He’s not just fast; he’s productive. Isabella led the nation last year among all D-I players with 102 receptions for 1,698 yards and 13 TDs.

“I know someone is going to get a steal wherever they get him,” said Murphy, a former Bucs wide receiver. “Andy is a type of guy that will put the work in and that’s what he’ll do as an NFL football player.”

With his blazing speed, Isabella quickly became the talk of the NFL Combine. And when it came to talking specifically to teams, Andy admits he was a bit ‘star struck,’ particularly with one head coach.

“I remember when I saw Gruden for the first time, I was like, ‘Oh crap, that’s Jon Gruden,’” laughed Isabella. “He knew exactly who I was. It’s crazy, but I love doing this and it was fun talking to all of those guys.”

Isabella has grown found of Tampa Bay. After seeing the departures of DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries, he could be a nice fit in the Bucs’ red and pewter.

“I think it would be cool to play for the Bucs,” he offered. “Yo took us to a Bucs game, that was awesome. I saw Jameis Winston working out at the facility. Me and my brother loved watching Jameis when he was in college, so that was real cool to see him in person. So that would be cool to play with Jameis.”

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