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ELCA’s Rochell having standout year for Chargers

Photo by Derrick Mahone
Eagle’s Landing Christian defensive end Isaac Rochell is two wins away from helping the program win the Class A private school title. He has already committed to play at top-ranked Notre Dame next season.

Photo by Derrick Mahone Eagle’s Landing Christian defensive end Isaac Rochell is two wins away from helping the program win the Class A private school title. He has already committed to play at top-ranked Notre Dame next season.

MCDONOUGH — When Isaac Rochell committed to play for Notre Dame back in June, he didn’t blast it over any of the social media networks.

The 6-foot-5, 257-pound Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy defensive lineman took a very low-key approach to the recruiting process.

It is not that he isn’t proud or pleased to have made his choice with the top-ranked Fighting Irish program; Rochell just didn’t want all the fanfare about his recruitment.

“I think it sometimes come across as a bit arrogant when you do all those things,” Rochell said. “I made my decision and I’m happy with it. I just wanted to be respectful to everyone.”

And there is no wavering on the Fighting Irish.

“Oh no, I’m solid,” Rochell said just before Monday’s practice.

In January, Notre Dame will be playing Alabama for the national championship. But that is not what totally sold Rochell on the Indiana school.

It was the school’s nationally-recognized academic standings that were the selling point.

“I know a degree from Notre Dame speaks for itself,” Rochell said. “It is a great school academically.”

And it also boasts one of the most storied football histories of any college. Notre Dame has 13 national titles and has produced seven Heisman Trophy winners.

“The main thing is to get my degree,” he said.

Before he heads off to Notre Dame next season, Rochell and his teammates have some unfinished high school business.

ELCA, which is ranked No. 1 in Class A, plays George Walton Academy tonight in the private school semifinals at Commitment Field. The winner advances to next week’s championship game at the Georgia Dome.

With his current team in a position to win a title and his future also vying for a championship, Rochell said he is pleased with his football life.

“It all goes to show that hard work, and making the right decisions are the key,” Rochell said.

Rochell is the No. 7 prospect in the state, and No. 124 nationally, according to rivals.com, a national recruiting services. He is listed as a four-star prospect by all the major recruiting services.

Despite all his accolades, new ELCA defensive coordinator Derek Chastian describes him as a “humble” leader on the team.

“Isaac has been real acceptable to new things I’ve done with him and the defense,” Chastian said. “We changed his stance and everything, but he has been unselfish in the way he has played. He plays really hard, and that makes a big difference.”