Not every player in the NFL starts with a dream of playing football as a career-- take Chicago Bears cornerback Isaiah Frey for instance.
A graduate of Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California, he was named MVP two years in a row, had 3,200 all purpose yards and 37 touchdowns. Isaiah continued this run by recording 76 tackles and 10 interceptions during his junior and senior years. He holds the school record with a 98-yard interception return for a touchdown.
As a freshman at Nevada State University in 2008, his plans were to major in political science and pursue law school. Football has always been in his blood coming from football stock in his father, an Arizona state running back. However his talent as a football player was just too stellar to ignore. He played in every game his freshman year recording 23 tackles, breaking up passes and had a game high of 6 tackles against Louisiana Tech.
A career best in 2009 of 27 tackles, he recorded his first college interception, forced fumble and knocked down 5 passes in that year. By 2010 he was on his way as the second-team All-WAC cornerback. Isaiah recorded at least two tackles in every game, finishing the regular season with a total of 52 tackles. He managed another forced fumble, an interception and was among the conference leaders with 14 pass breakups on the year.
By 2011 he was named preseason All-WAC by 5 different organizations. Frey’s dream became a reality when he was picked 184th in the 6th round by the Chicago Bears in 2012. Having to reduce the roster to 53 men, the Bears had to cut Frey in 2012, later to return a few weeks later to the Chicago Bears practice squad. This is when he was able to shine. Frey was determined to prove that he wasn’t a bust but a rising athlete with natural talent. He took the time to watch and learn from the veteran players while on the practice squad and it paid off.
During the 2013 training camp, Frey showed remarkable skill and speed, able to compete against fellow rookie Joe Anderson and veteran Zachary Bowman. His pursuit for batted passes and interceptions are visible in every play. Frey deflected more passes than any corner in camp and he has become a real threat to veteran players. The highlight during training camp came from an intercepted catch thrown by quarterback Jay Cutler, causing head coach Marc Trestman to take notice. According to the unofficial preseason depth chart, Frey is currently listed as a third string right behind Kelvin Hayden as the right-side cornerback.
Frey will need to show that he deserves a spot on the 53-man roster. He will need to look sharp in the preseason games and show his fellow teammates that he can be the future of the Chicago Bears defense. With Tim Jennings entering his 9th year and Charles Tillman in his 12th year, the Chicago Bears veteran duo will need to pass on the torch to young Isaiah Frey. Given the opportunity, Isaiah Frey may be the rising start of the Bears defense in years to come.
Keep an eye out during preseason for #31 in the backfield and watch him work his way onto the official 2013 depth chart.