Ishmael Sopsher is the No. 3 player in the Chosen 25.
He’s a member of the ALL-USA First Team Defense and has been named to the all-Louisiana team all four years of high school.
But one of the ways he’s honed his abilities comes well away from the football field.
In fact, the basic appearances of these two activities makes them look like polar opposites.
The 6-foot-5, 280-pound defensive tackle does yoga.
“When I first came in (to high school), they had us do yoga to help with flexibility,” Sopsher said. “The D-line coach said it would help us get past defenders (and) up my game.”
A couple years ago, he put it on himself to do it in his own time.
“I put some videos on YouTube, type it in, see what you do,” Sopsher said.
This flexibility to go with his raw power and athleticism helped him dominate at Amite High School (La.) over four years of play. In his senior season, Sopsher had 35 tackles for loss, 12 sacks and forced eight fumbles to go with 78 tackles, according to The Advocate.
His talent and production earned him a spot in the Under Armour All-America Game. He’ll compete on Team Flash.
“It’s my last game, I’m ready to compete with some of the best prospects,” he said.
This is Sopsher’s third time in Orlando, but his first time getting to put on the jersey. He likes the uniform and said the fabric feels light – also, it looks good. He called the design “tropical” and said it matches the environment of the city.
While he’ll be playing against some of the best talent, Sopsher will hold off on announcing his college decision until Feb. 6.
His final seven schools are LSU, Alabama, Oregon, Ole Miss, Texas, Texas A&M and Florida State.
Sopsher said that it’s still any of those school’s game.
He’s looking for the one that will make him the most comfortable, has a strong education system and can best prepare him for the NFL.
“I’m taking my time with my decision. I need to make sure it’s the right decision,” Sopsher said. “Don’t want to make the mistake, (it would) mess with you for life.”