The Recruiting Guy:

TeSlaa raises coach’s blood pressure with call

By: Richard Davenport Richard Davenport's Twitter account
Published: Friday, January 13, 2023
WR transfer Isaac TeSlaa with several members of the Arkansas coaching staff.
WR transfer Isaac TeSlaa with several members of the Arkansas coaching staff.

Coveted transfer receiver Isaac TeSlaa thrilled University of Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman, receivers coach Kenny Guiton and Razorback fans when he announced his decision to be a Hog late Tuesday night.

TeSlaa, 6-4, 210 pounds, became one of the most sought-after receivers in the transfer portal after recording 68 receptions for 1,325 yards and 13 touchdowns for Hillsdale (Mich.) College and being the Great Midwest Athletic Conference’s top offensive player.

He entered the transfer portal on Dec. 1 and soon received scholarship offers from Arkansas, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Arizona, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Miami, Wisconsin, Baylor, Colorado and Purdue.

TeSlaa made official visits to Arkansas, Colorado, Purdue, Iowa and Iowa State with his parents Mark and Stephanie.

“It just felt like it was home for me,” TeSlaa said of Arkansas. “People say sometimes they get that feeling at a college on a visit, and I felt like I kind of got that feeling when I was down in Arkansas.”

He posted on Twitter on Sunday he would make his decision Tuesday and did so by posting his pledge to the Hogs at 10:07 p.m.

“It was obviously very difficult decision,” TeSlaa said. “I posted my announcement super late at night. I honestly didn’t make up my mind until about 10 o’clock at night. I didn’t know where I was going to go.”

TeSlaa said he conversed with numerous people and was very prayerful leading up to his decision.

“I just felt God told me anywhere I go that He’s going to be with me and I can be His light anywhere. And so at that point after my visit to Arkansas, I felt like it was home,” TeSlaa said. “I just felt like they have such a great staff down there, great facilities. It’s hard to pass up the SEC, so at that point I made my decision and I couldn’t be happier to be a Hog.”

He was named the Chargers’ Outstanding Offensive Back for 2021 after having 45 catches for 698 yards and 7 touchdowns as a sophomore.

When he reached out to Pittman to tell him the good news, he made it sound like anything but good news.

“What I said to him was like ‘I have some bad news for you Coach Pittman,’ and then I said I have to tell the other college coaches that I’m going to Arkansas,” TeSlaa said. “He said I raised his blood pressure about 50 notches when I told him that, but he was super excited and he couldn’t stop saying, ‘Go Hogs.’ ”

While Arkansas broke down how they would use him during the visit, TeSlaa said he and Guiton had a Zoom meeting a few days ago to discuss more about his role at with the Razorbacks.

Former transfer receivers Jadon Haselwood and Matt Landers’s success this season for Arkansas also helped.

“I feel like KG knows how to teach the receivers how to do great things,” TeSlaa said. “They [Haselwood and Landers] stepped in after one year and were extremely successful ,and I feel like I have the ability to do the same thing. Obviously, KJ Jefferson knows how to spin the ball.”

TeSlaa had little recruiting traction coming out of Unity Christian High School in Hudsonville, Mich., after playing quarterback on a 22-player squad his senior season in 2019.

“We ran the straight Wing T, so it was hard getting recruited,” he said.

Hillsdale recruited him as a receiver and the more experience he had, the more comfortable and productive he became.

“Being a receiver is like a form of art,” said TeSlaa, whose father played receiver at Hillsdale and was named the team’s MVP in 1996. “At that point, I didn’t know much about receivers, but after a year at the position I felt like I was definitely getting more comfortable. Going into my last year, I felt like I was in a great position to go and do great things and that obviously came to fruition.”

TeSlaa also said he expects to report to Fayetteville today or Saturday to enroll for the spring semester.

He will have two years of eligibility remaining.


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