Photo by Scott Schrader, Trojan Insider

Coach: Isaiah Rutherford Has That "Dog In Him"

December 18, 2018

Marlon Blanton is going to miss Isaiah Rutherford‍ next season.

“We’re not just going to miss his ability, but his leadership skills, who he is as a person,” the head coach at Jesuit High School in Carmichael, Calif., says of Rutherford, a 2019 cornerback who is set to sign with Notre Dame on Wednesday.

“He brings a lot to your program.”

But Blanton also appreciates the fact that many of the things Rutherford has brought to his program will still be there when he’s gone.

“The group behind him wants to be follow what he’s done,” says Blanton. “It’s inspiring. This group is even working harder already so we can get back to where we were this year.”

It wasn’t just Rutherford’s speed and athleticism that made him such an asset on the field during his time playing for the Marauders, but his attitude.

“He’s a tough kid, loves to compete,” Blanton says. “He has a lot of dog in him.

“When it’s time to compete, he doesn’t want to lose in anything on the field or off the field. And where he’s going, you have to have that.”

Rutherford’s father, Reynard Rutherford, played college ball at Cal and is probably responsible for at least some of that outlook.

“I think that comes from home,” Blanton says. “His dad has got a lot of dog in him, so that’s a built-in thing.”

Blanton believes Notre Dame will be “a good fit” for Rutherford, who also had Oklahoma, Alabama, LSU, Oregon, Colorado and Cal among his finalists.

“One of the things that Isaiah said is that the feel is similar to now,” the coach says. “The feel of Notre Dame and Jesuit, he feels good about that.”

Like every incoming freshman, Blanton feels the 6-foot-2, 170-pounder will benefit from a college strength program, but that “dog” will be one of his greatest strengths.

“I think his ability to compete is going to take him wherever he wants to go.”

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