Isaiah Seise says he has to be more of a vocal leader for his Jonesboro teammates if the Cardinals are going to earn another playoff berth. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)
JONESBORO — Isaiah Seise had a big sophomore season for the Jonesboro Cardinals football team.
The then-sophomore had nine sacks for a defense that helped lead Jonesboro to second place in the region and a state playoff berth.
Then last season, he was switched from defensive end to outside linebacker. In addition, coach Tim Floyd added offensive line duties to his responsibilities.
Seise’s production fell off some.
“The change threw him off some,” Floyd said.
It was probably one of the reasons the 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior entered the season with no scholarship offers. He has some interest from schools, but most are waiting to see his production this season.
Middle Tennessee State and Appalachian State have shown the most interest in him, according to Floyd. The coach also said that Georgia Tech has been in contact with him.
“Everybody just wants to see some more consistency in him,” Floyd said. “I think it will happen this season.”
Seise says he is ready to step up his production as some more responsibilities have been placed on him. With the graduation of several talented players from last season’s playoff team, he will be counted on to provide some leadership.
“I really want to show people that we have a good program over here at Jonesboro, and not one or two good seasons,” Seise said. “We got some young guys that will have to step up. I have to be much more vocal than I’ve been in the past. I have to show the type of leadership that was shown to me my first two years here. I have to show the younger guys the way so they can keep passing it on.”
In the process, Seise wants to also show college coaches that he can play on the next level.
Seise will mainly concentrate on playing the outside linebacker spot and some at tight end on offense. Floyd is confident that Seise will return back to the form he had as a sophomore.
“He is still basically learning the defensive end and linebacker positions,” Floyd said. “We take a little bit of the responsibility of last season because we asked him to do a lot. He had to play two ways, which got a little tiring. Last season he was solid, but he didn’t have those big impact plays.”
Jonesboro will need for him to be a playmaker for the defense. With the graduation of defensive backs Cameron Sutton, Taurean Ferguson and Patrick Petty, the players upfront will have to make up for the inexperienced in the secondary.
And it will likely start with Seise.
“It’s my senior season, and I want to have a big year,” he said. “I’m going to stay very active and play hard. We must do a lot up front to help the young guys. We have to count on them as much as they are counting on us.”
Born of Haiti and Puerto Rico decent, Seise grew up with a soccer background. He was a midfielder on his youth football teams before finally convincing his mother to let him give football a try.
Seise credits his soccer background with making him a better football player.
“I’m used to running so I don’t get as tired quickly,” he said. “The footwork I gained from soccer is also helpful.”
Floyd said Seise did a lot his sophomore year despite limited practice time as a sophomore. He transferred to Jonesboro just before the start of fall practice from a private school in Griffin.
“My main thing is to get a free college education with a football scholarship,” said Seise, who has a 3.9 grade-point average. “I want to help my parents out, and this is a way to show that I’m grateful for them letting me play football.”