Isaiah Jatta wanted a better situation and there’s no doubt the timing was just right for him.
A JUCO All-American at Snow College (Ephraim,UT), the 6-foot-6, 315-pound offensive lineman has been a workhorse at every stop in his football journey, but he didn’t always get noticed for his efforts. It took consistency to keep him front and center with his hard work finally getting him to the next level.
Moving to Boulder feels like a homecoming of sorts for Jatta. One of his best friends, who happens to be his teammate, Deuce Roberson, also transitioned to CU from Snow by way of Monument, Colo. Jatta isn’t a Colorado native, but it feels like he’s already established a home away from home.
“With being closely connected to people from the three states I have lived in, the transitions have been smooth because people know people in these states,” Jatta said.
“I am a military kid as well, so my parents are very familiar with Colorado. Weather is no problem for me after living in Utah for two years and getting accustomed to that will have a smooth transition at Boulder”
As a San Diego kid, Jatta becomes the latest Buffs recruit from the 619 area code. The history of Buffs from that region of the country runs deep, including the school’s only Heisman winner Rashaan Salaam, who came from La Jolla Country Day. Even with ties to Southern California, no major programs from the area were high on Jatta’s list. But he’s determined to take his love for SoCal anywhere he goes.
“San Diego kids are always prideful of where they come from. It’s not like LA where the media is huge out there. If you make it out of San Diego you rep your city. It’s just principles.”
At first he was going to try out South Carolina and verbally committed to the Gamecocks in the middle of last year. Keep in mind, the middle of the pack SEC school wasn’t the only one in the running for Jatta’s services with Auburn , BYU, and Kansas all in the mix as well.
An offer from Kent State gave the big man another option to fall back on with his sights set on either SC or Auburn as the front-runners. That was before Sean Lewis and Bill O’Boyle decided to make the jump with Coach Prime to Colorado. A new conversation emerged between Jatta and the former Kent State coaches, who gave him an offer to visit Boulder and the rest was history with the former All-American ready to protect Buffs’ quarterback Shedeur Sanders.
“Shedeur has a great pocket presence. I like how he can impact the game through the air and on the ground,” Jatta said. “Coach Lewis’ offense will be perfect for him because it will allow him to show off a bit more of his rushing because of options to keep the ball and be a playmaker.”
The Buffs’ offensive scheme will be constructed with a lot of moving parts next year. An uptempo pace married with a dual-threat ability from Sanders will be fun to watch. O’Boyle is already prepping Jatta and his linemates with film study sessions.
“Coach Lewis likes his athletes in space, and with doing so I understood that pulling lineman is a main focus point in the run and RPO formations,” Jatta said.
“It’s very hard for defenses to contain the entire field and that offense exploits it. I am excited to go fast, I’m always pushing tempo on the field. Going to Snow prepared me because we ran a no huddle uptempo offense.”
Sanders will conduct the Buffs offense with Jatta’s help on the frontlines. The Jackson State transfer comes to Boulder with a solid two seasons under his belt, throwing for 3,732 yards with 40 TDs, and six INT’s in 2022.
Despite the change of scenery, Jatta is settling into his future assignments at CU and excited to be with Prime and the Buffs.