UMass freshman RB Andy Isabella could have several roles

Last modified: Saturday, October 10, 2015
AMHERST — The absence of senior Khary Bailey-Smith and Jalen Williams led UMass coach Mark Whipple to make the decision not to redshirt freshman tailback Andy Isabella, who returned kicks against Notre Dame.

Isabella, who was a state sprint champion in Ohio, will have an expanded role as the season goes on. He replaced Bailey-Smith on returns. Because Marken Michel moved to Williams’ outside receiver spot, Isabella could see time at slot receiver, where Michel played much of last year. He’ll also play some at running back, his listed position on the roster.

“He’s fast. He’s got legitimate speed. He’s the fastest guy on our team. He had a really good week of scout team against Temple,” Whipple said. “He’s a guy who can fill Marken’s role from last year. He can play some running back. He’s a smart kid. He can play some receiver for us and use him on special teams because we knew Khary was out. We just felt like he was too fast and made too many things happen. We took the redshirt off. We’re going to use him.”

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage