Junior College recruit gives verbal pledge after visit.

LOUISIANA La. Louisiana's football squad got its first commitment from a defensive lineman for the 2004 recruiting class Wednesday.

Independence Community College standout Curtis Isaac, heralded as one of the top defenders in the Kansas-based Jayhawk Conference for the past two seasons, gave the Cajun coaching staff a verbal pledge after an official visit last weekend.

"When I walked around town, everybody showed the football players a lot of respect, and I liked that," said the 6-foot-2, 280-pounder. "We didn't have that good a year up here as a team, and everyone kind of started ignoring us.

"When I was down there, the fans seemed like they showed a lot of support."

Isaac, a native of Hopkins, S.C., was a two-time All-Jayhawk Conference pick for Independence, seeing his first-ever action in the defensive line after playing linebacker during his high school career. He said that the Cajun coaches had already tabbed him for the defensive front.

"I like the D-line a lot," he said. "You're always in the middle of all the action. At linebacker, I was having to run just to get into the play.

"They're going to a 4-3 there next year and it's a lot like what we ran the last two years."

Isaac finished with 80 tackles, seven quarterback sacks and 14 tackles for losses this fall despite Independence's 2-7 overall record.

He had previously earned All-State honors at linebacker at Lower Richland High in Hopkins, competing in the state's largest (4A) classification.

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Dan McDonald