FAMU football standout linebacker and defensive end Isaiah Land participated in the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis during his quest to April’s draft. Here’s how he did.
By Gerald Thomas, Tallahassee Democrat
Linebacker and defensive end Isaiah Land properly represented the Florida A&M Rattlers at Thursday’s NFL Scouting Combine.
The 2021 Buck Buchanan Award Winner completed his work out with the linebackers and edge rushers where they did 40-yard dashes, jumping measurements, and defensive drills at the Indianapolis Colts’ Lucas Oil Stadium.
Land ran an official 40-yard dash time of 4.62 seconds ― improving from his 4.70 unofficial time. He notched a 34.5 inch vertical jump and 10-foot-6 inch broad jump. For agility, Land had a 4.56 second shuttle run and a 7.2 second three-cone drill time.
Land measured at 6-foot-3 and a half and 236 pounds at the combine, gaining over ten pounds of muscle since his last season at FAMU.
His size and skillset will likely cause NFL teams to look at him as an outside linebacker, exterior defensive lineman hybrid.
“It’s a lot easier to put on weight,” Land said at Wednesday’s NFL Scouting Combine Prospect Media Day. “I was always conscious of what I was eating, but when you have the resources food-wise and supplement-wise, it’s easier to stay on schedule with your eating.
“I was gaining about two or three pounds a week ― sometimes, three or four pounds.”
Land is one of two Historically Black College and University (HBCU) players to participate at this year’s combine alongside Arkansas-Pine Bluff offensive lineman Mark Evans II which has given him a sense of pride while training alongside major Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) athletes.
“I’ve always felt like we’ve had to work a little bit harder and do a bit extra,” Land said. “Even when I felt hurt or when I couldn’t go a day, I had to use that as my day to get better because the thing that is going to separate us is our toughness. I always try to push myself to the max every single day because I knew I was fighting from behind because when you go to Alabama or Georgia it’s easy to get complacent because you’re on the top of the hill.
“I just try to work my hardest everyday, so when I got to this level, I could be able to compete with those guys and show that I’m just as athletic and intelligent in the game of football.”
Land caught the attention of NFL scouts and representatives after shining on FAMU’s Dark Cloud Defense as he notched 19 total sacks ― the most in all of Division I (FBS and FCS).
He officially declared for the 2023 NFL Draft, forgoing his final year of eligibility in November ― two days following the Rattlers’ season finale against Bethune-Cookman at the Florida Blue Florida Classic.
Land, who participated in the Reese’s Senior Bowl in February, is the second consecutive Rattler to workout at the NFL Scouting Combine, following Markquese Bell, who went undrafted before making the Dallas Cowboys’ 53-man roster.
“(Isaiah) has done everything we’ve asked,” FAMU head coach Willie Simmons told the Tallahassee Democrat. “To have guys go to the combine two years in a row in a testament to the work they put in everyday ― the strength and conditioning coach (Cole) Forney and the training room is just a commitment to excellence.”
Gerald Thomas, III covers Florida A&M University Athletics for the Tallahassee Democrat. Contact him via email at email@example.com or on Tw
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