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ST. PETERSBURG — Three years ago, Isaiah Wynn was not interested in playing football.
But he decided to attend a summer workout at Lakewood after his older brother, Aram, urged him to tag along. The Spartan coaches took one look at the incoming freshman, who already weighed more than 250 pounds, and asked him to put on some pads.
Isaiah went through some drills and repeatedly left defenders overturned, on their backs, in what is known as a pancake block.
“Right after that, the coaches said I was not only playing football, but I was starting right away,” Wynn said.
Since then Wynn has turned gridirons into griddles, flattening defenders with ease as he plows toward the end zone. His penchant for mauling everything in his path has made him a hot commodity among college recruiters.
The 6-foot-2, 272-pound rising senior has rocketed up the rankings to become a four-star recruit according to 247sports. He also has pulled in some big-time offers from schools such as Arkansas, Florida State, Kentucky, USF and Vanderbilt.
Wynn is part of a stellar group of bay area offensive linemen in the 2014 class that includes East Lake’s Mason Cole, St. Petersburg Catholic’s Reilly Gibbons, Tampa Catholic’s Cory Martinez, Plant City’s Montel McBride and Plant’s Ray Raulerson.
No one’s stock, however, has improved as dramatically as Wynn’s. By the end of the 2012 season, Wynn had six offers. In the past two months, he has tripled that with most coming from schools in the SEC.
With each offer has come praise in proportion to Wynn’s size. Still, he has a hard time thinking of himself as a star.
“It’s wild how fast things have picked up,” Wynn said. “But I still don’t think I’ve arrived or had a moment where I knew I was a really good player. I’m always going to think I can get better or feel like there are things I can work on.”
Growing up, Wynn played a variety of sports, including tennis. But he never was on an organized team until football. Older brother Aram was the athlete. Aram, also a lineman, played at Florida A&M.
Wynn started out as project but quickly developed into a cornerstone on a veteran offensive line. He creates unfortunate matchups for opponents and can extend his arms to send defenders in reverse, forcefully and repeatedly.
His combination of size and skill was first noticed by USF, which offered him a scholarship last year.
“That was big for me because I was always a USF fan growing up,” Wynn said. “It was nice to have my dream school be the first to come through with an offer.”
Now, the letters and offers come in rapid fashion, so much that Wynn has surpassed the amount his older brother accumulated when he was in high school. The brothers, though, are still tight. Isaiah leans on Aram at times for advice on the recruiting process.
“My brother has always been there for me, but really my whole family has been helping me out,” Wynn said. “It hasn’t been too stressful dealing with the process. Actually, I enjoy it.”
Wynn said he plans to attend the Nike Football Training Camp this weekend in Orlando. He also will visit a few schools in the summer.
“I want to take my time with the whole process,” Wynn said. “I want to make the right decision. To me, there is no rush. It could take a while for me to decide, even until signing day.”