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Penn State Football’s Adisa Isaac Shares Inspiring Family Story With CBS Sports

Penn State defensive end Adisa Isaac has been productive on the field for the program this season. So far, he’s tallied seven tackles and a sack through five games. With that being said, it’s Isaac’s off-the-field story that has garnered the admiration of Penn State fans everywhere.

During a prerecorded interview with CBS Sports before the Nittany Lions’ kickoff against Auburn, Isaac sat down to share his family with the world. The video featured his mother and his three siblings, all of whom are nonverbal.

Though his two older brothers and younger sister may be nonverbal, that doesn’t stop them from living life to the fullest.

“They can’t have a conversation, but you can have a conversation at the same time,” Isaac said. “My oldest brother is low-key, but can be high-key. My second oldest brother is more of the character and the funny guy. My little sister is very overprotective of me and very loving and caring.”

Isaac’s mother, Lisa Wiltshire Isaac, followed up by talking about what it’s been like raising three nonverbal children and how special it is, even with certain setbacks and difficulties.

“The same way I’ll speak to Adisa, I’ll speak to his siblings,” Wiltshire-Isaac said. “‘Go get that. Go do that. Come here. No!’ It wasn’t like ‘oh don’t do that because you’re disabled.’ No, try it! Challenge yourself!”

Isaac spent a lot of the rest of the video focusing on his mother’s strength and how he feeds off her energy. She took a situation that could have broken a lot of people and showed that children who are nonverbal are just as capable as any other child.

“My mom is a warrior,” Isaac said. “She’s battled through so much. She stayed strong for all of us,”

“For everything that she does, I feel like I am feeding off of it,” Isaac continued. “Having three disabled siblings is not easy, but I have never seen her complain or waver, and that’s why we’re here today. Because of her.”


This story tugs at the heartstrings of a lot of people, though not everyone can relate to it. However, as I watch this video, I see a lot of my family in the Isaac family — especially because we actually have a lot in common.

My brother is also nonverbal. You won’t be able to have a whole conversation with him, but you can see his emotions. He can tell you what he wants without telling you anything at all. He has a knack for knowing what holiday it is by blasting Christmas songs in December or spooky-themed songs in October. He is his own person, and one of the best people I know.

As are my parents. What they and Wiltshire Isaac have in common is that they sacrificed a lot raising a child with disabilities. But, it is still one of the most rewarding experiences a parent can have. I have no doubt they faced challenges raising them, but they have developed into some of the strongest people in the world because of it.

It’s stories like these that make sports so great. You see someone’s story, and you see yourself in their shoes. I have never met Adisa Isaac, and and odds are I never will. But, I know we are connected through a similar story that made us stronger individuals.

And because of that, I will always be a fan for life.

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About the Author

Owen Abbey

Owen Abbey was a Secondary Education major before he graduated from the wonderful institution known as Penn State. When he was not writing for the blog, he enjoyed rooting for the Baltimore Orioles and Ravens, supporting Penn State basketball and softball, dreaming of all of the ways he would win the TV show "Survivor," and yes mom, actually doing school work. All of this work prepared him to teach his own class of students, which was always his true passion. He still can be found on Twitter @theowenabbey and can be reached for questions and comments at [email protected]

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