- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bart and Eileen Isdaner will be in the Byrd Stadium stands tonight to watch their son Greg battle in the trenches on West Virginia’s offensive line, and Eileen might even wear her “My son is no. 79” button.

Mountaineer pride has slowly grown on the Isdaners, who were so unenthused by Greg’s decision to play football in Morgantown three years ago that Greg didn’t exactly feel welcome in his family’s Gladwyne, Pa., home.

“I bounced around for a little bit,” the 6-foot-4, 315-pound Isdaner said. “I lived with our high school equipment manager for a while, then at a couple friends’ houses, just to cool things down.”

The Isdaners felt their son would be better suited to abandon his hopes of playing Division I-A football and take a more studious approach to college either at Georgetown, Bart and Eileen’s alma mater or at an Ivy League institution.

“They were just upset that I was chasing this dream and giving up on an academic place,” said Isdaner, who estimates that 20 of his relatives attended Georgetown over the past 30 years. “They were looking out for my best interest.”

At the time, no one thought honor student Isdaner would play at West Virginia, the only Division I-A school who offered him a scholarship out of Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia. But after earning a starting job and being named to the freshman All-American team last season, it’s Greg that’s looking like the genius.

“At this point, I have no regrets,” said Isdaner, who has helped pave the way for Heisman hopefuls Steve Slaton and Pat White. “I put in the work, and you can get a good education anywhere.”

Isdaner, a business and economics major with a 3.3 grade point average, is on track to graduate in three years and plans on going to graduate school if pro football doesn’t pan out.

“Back then I was torn, because the rational choice was to go to Georgetown,” said Greg’s little brother Shane, a freshman defensive lineman for the Hoyas who gave Greg rides during Greg’s excommunication in the summer of 2004. “Now I’m so happy because I know he would have regretted not giving it a shot.”

Greg says that Bart and Eileen haven’t said anything about WVU being named the nation’s No. 1 party school by the Princeton Review last month, but expects and hopes that they haven’t heard the news.

So while Bart and Eileen may be beaming with pride in the seats tonight, don’t expect them to be lighting any couches aflame should Greg’s Mountaineers prevail.

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