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Unheralded 2013 Player of the Week: Isaiah Galvan

This burly defensive tackle does solid work in the Rio Grande Valley, where recruiters are rarely around to notice.

This series of posts has highlighted high school seniors whose football exploits have gone largely unnoticed for a variety of reasons. Some play in the shadow of highly-recruited teammates, others don't quite have the prototypical size and/or athleticism desired for their position, and a couple are victims of geography, toiling away in the panhandle (an area often neglected by college recruiters) and getting a fraction of the attention showered on similarly-talented Metroplex or Houston-area stars.

This week's featured player, Isaiah Galvan, fits in quite well with the group. The senior defensive tackle plays for Class 5A Edinburg High School in the Rio Grande Valley region of far south Texas, another area that doesn't see many college recruiters. On film he looks like the kind of player any high school football coach would want on their team. He plays hard, stays low when coming out of his stance at the snap, fights off holds and double-teams to get into the backfield regularly, and pursues ball-carriers down the field until the play is over.

He's a rugged-looking guy with good size for a high school lineman (6'2" 270) and better than average speed for his size (he runs a 4.9 forty according to his coach). Whether or not he receives interest from college coaches will likely depend on what position they see him playing at that level, as he doesn't have ideal size for any one position. He played fullback early in his high school career but was moved to defensive tackle to fill a team need, and he has gradually grown into that position over the last couple of years.

He would likely be looked at first as a defensive tackle and I think he could play that position for a FBS or FCS team somewhere (though he'd need to get a lot stronger and probably add some weight), but he could be an option at other positions as well. With the way he plays low and takes on offensive linemen, it would be intriguing to see how well he could do on the college level at his old fullback position, where he would blocking guys actually smaller than him in most cases. With the way he rushes the passer and fights off guards and centers, it would also be intriguing to see if he could move one spot over and play strong side defensive end, though he looks more like a high motor (if undersized) 3-4 end than a traditional 4-3 pass-rushing end.

Basically, he's the type of high-effort player Gary Patterson at TCU has been known to target and figure out their best position later. He could be a jack-of-several-trades similar to 2013 TCU commit Joseph Noteboom of Plano, who has primarily played left tackle as a senior but has also played snaps at defensive end, right guard, blocking tight end, and H-back. Most recruiting sites list Noteboom as a defensive end prospect but there's no telling where he'll eventually line up for the Horned Frogs. If Galvan played at a large Dallas-area school like Plano he might very well have attracted the attention of an outside-the-box recruiter like Patterson. But at this time he has no college offers.

He might not be an All-American candidate but he could be a contributor on the field for a D1 or D2 program somewhere, and based on comments from Edinburg head coach Joey Caceras, Galvan sounds like a player who would be a valuable presence in the locker room and on the practice field as well. Says Caceras, "He has tremendous potential" and "is looked upon highly by his teammates. Isaiah has a burning desire to win and the work ethic to accomplish that goal."

Unfortunately, that burning desire hasn't resulted in many wins this season. After making the playoffs and finishing 6-5 in 2011, Edinburg High lost a lot of its young talent before this season when the opening of a new high school in the Edinburg ISD caused the attendance lines to be re-drawn. Edinburg currently sports a record of 2-6, with one of their two wins coming against the new Edinburg Vela High. Despite his team's struggles, Galvan has done nothing but continue to post solid performances in the trenches on game night. Coach Caceras reports these stats for Galvan (through the team's first seven games): 69 total tackles (37 solo), 7 sacks, 2 batted passes, 1 fumble recovery, and 2 blocked kicks.

Like some of the previous Unheralded players, Galvan does not have a prospect profile on Rivals, 247Sports, ESPN's RecruitingNation, or Scout. It doesn't help his cause that he lives a few hundred miles outside the radar of most college football scouts. He does have a profile page on NCSA with a highlight video (see below), and the clips on his Hudl page (including highlights from his senior season) show off the toughness and tenacity that has made him one of the best players in the Valley over the past two years. Hopefully, he'll get noticed by the right coach and have a chance to play on Saturdays in the coming years.

Video: Isaiah Galvan's junior highlights

Edinburg's remaining schedule:
October 26 - vs. Edinburg Economedes
November 1 - at La Joya Juarez-Lincoln

Previous Unheralded 2013 Player of the Week picks:
Week Seven - no selection, this column took a bye week
Week Six - Xavier McElhannon, RB (San Antonio Johnson)
Week Five - Charleston White, WR (Amarillo Palo Duro)
Week Four - Gennard Johnson, DT (Waxahachie)
Week Three - Devante Pullum, Athlete (Little Elm)
Week Two - Tyrel Stokes, DB (Killeen Harker Heights)
Week One - Derick Bates, WR (Belton)
Week Zero - Collin Bowen, QB (Canyon Randall)