Andy Isabella has a reputation for not being a big talker. But outside of State Farm Stadium, he’s a different character.
He loves his time with the Cardinals, especially working with the likes of coach Kliff Kingsbury and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
“It’s been fun,” Isabella said. “I think I’ve been down here for a month and a half now and it seems like I’ve been down here for a day.
“They keep us super busy like from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, every night.”
That was before the preseason and his minor knee injury. He returned ready to play in mid-August. QB Charles Kanoff targeted Isabella four times, the last of which Isabella ran for a 59-yard TD against Oakland in August.
Isabella’s journey to the Cardinals began at Mayfield High School in Mayfield, Ohio. He admits football wasn’t his first love; it was soccer and track. His senior year at Mayfield, he took first at state in the 100-meter dash.
“I was actually a really good soccer player growing up,” Isabella said. “My mom wanted me to stick with soccer, but I always had a love for football for some reason. Even just growing up, my dad loved football, so we would watch his sport. I gravitated toward football as I got older.”
He committed to UMass (the University of Massachusetts Amherst) to play college football. On the team from 2015 to 2018, he had 231 receptions for 3,526 yards and 30 TDs. Isabella was Pro Football Focus’ highest-rated wide receiver in college football, posting a season grade of 93.2.
Isabella started as a mechanical engineering major and then switched to industrial engineering. When the “football thing” looked like it was going to work out, he switched majors so he could finish earlier.
Isabella is thrilled to be with the Cardinals, who made him their second round pick in 2019. The move reunited him with his former UMass coach, Spencer Whipple, who serves as an offensive quality control coach for the Cardinals.
“It’s nice to have a familiar face,” he said. “He’s someone to look up to, too. He’s like an older brother to me.”
If Isabella has one goal with the Cardinals, it’s to find his spot.
“Hopefully, they’ll have a nice role for me to play and I can fill that role to the best of my ability,” he said. “Every guy there is talented and can make plays. You have to be on your A game — every practice, every meeting.
“It can definitely become overwhelming. I try to treat each day as a new opportunity because there is so much talent.”
That includes Chase Edmonds, a running back to whom he’s grown close.
“We’ve been talking a lot,” Isabella said. “He’s really an outgoing and friendly guy.”