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Isa Muhammed signs to play at Army

Isa Muhammed signed a scholarship to play football at Army last week. He had 79 tackles and four interceptions this past season. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

Isa Muhammed signed a scholarship to play football at Army last week. He had 79 tackles and four interceptions this past season. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

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In addition to being a standout defensive back on the football team, Isa Muhammed is also a top reserve on the Riverdale basketball team, which reached the second round of the Class AAAA playoffs. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

RIVERDALE — Isa Muhammed never really thought much about the service academies when it came time for his college recruiting.

The former Riverdale defensive back was pretty content on signing with first-year college program Kennesaw State after committing to the Cobb County school over the summer.

But after his offer was pulled, Muhammed had to begin the recruiting process over again.

When former Georgia Southern coach Jeff Monken and his staff took over at Army, they begin to show interest in him.

Last week, Muhammed signed with the West Point school to fulfill his dream of playing Div. I football on the Football Bowl Subdivision level.

“That staff at Army recruited him when they were at Georgia Southern, so they were familiar with him,” Riverdale coach Terry Herrod said. “He went to the camp at Georgia Southern over the summer. It was just a matter of them starting the recruiting process over again. After he took his visit to West Point, he was hooked.”

Muhammed, who is also a member of the region runner-up basketball team, will play his first season at the academy’s prep school before moving over to the academy.

Herrod was especially pleased about Muhammed getting into Army since the coach’s dad is a former Army drill sergeant.

“I’m an Army brat, so I have a lot of respect for the military,” Herrod said. “I’m very happy for Isa. He worked hard and earned a good scholarship to one of the top school’s in the country.”

This past season, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound junior had 79 tackles, including two tackles for loss and four interceptions.

“I see this as a good opportunity for me,” Muhammed said. “I took my visit and was very impressed.”

At Army, he will be coached by Orlando Mitjans, who has coached several current NFL defensive backs including Dominick Rodgers-Cromartie. Former Riverdale standout Lavelle Westbrooks, who just finished a four-year starting career at Georgia Southern, credits Mitjans with his development into an NFL prospect.

Westbrooks played in the Senior Bowl last month and is currently in Indianapolis participating in the NFL Scouting Combines. He is projected as a late NFL draft prospect.

“Coach Mitjans has a lot of knowledge and he taught me a lot about the game,” Westbrooks said via cellphone prior to the Combine. “He was very instrumental in my development.”