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Crockett’s Isaiah Lang signs with Emory & Henry

By Trey Williams

The Emory & Henry football program’s forthcoming move up to NCAA Division II led to a lucrative offer for David Crockett’s Isaiah Lang.

The 6-foot-2, 175-pound safety, who also had an offer from Limestone, signed with E&H last week.

“It was a lot of stressful nights not knowing if the work would pay off but I would I work extra every single day and kept God first and the rest has been history,” Lang said. “I am ecstatic that their program believed in me so heavily to give me the deal I got. I can’t explain how blessed I am.”

Lang is expected to sting people from the safety position for the Wasps. He has 4.6 speed (laser) and a 36-inch vertical leap.

“As the experts like to say, he’s got all the intangibles,” said Crockett coach Hayden Chandley, who coaches defensive backs and also coached defense at Bluefield and UVa-Wise. “He’s long, lanky, athletic, coachable. He’s got good speed. He’s a prototypical college defensive back.

“He would’ve been one of the bigger defensive backs that we would’ve had on any of those teams at Wise or Bluefield. He’s a legit 6-2, long arms, good frame – a frame that can hold another 20 or 25 pounds of muscle.”

Lang was part of a senior class that set a program wins record – the Pioneers were 35-13 the past four seasons – and recorded the program’s first four playoff victories.

Lang made 37 tackles last season. He also had an interception, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble. And he had 13 receptions for 104 yards.

Lang said linebackers coach Ron Sillmon was instrumental in his development.

“I am honored and blessed to able to meet a man who has taught me how to be man,” Lang said. “We have laugh, joked, been mad at each other before, but we always talk on different aspects of life and you always need those type of people in your life. … One teammate that stuck out to me was Prince (Kollie). Me and Prince grew up together we both went to Jonesborough Middle. He is the person, honestly, who helped me find my faith. We have had so many deep talks about how God works in mysterious ways and everything happens for a reason.

“The other teammate was John Rucker. He is my second cousin but is more like my brother. Me and John competed since Junior ball. A lot of people don’t know I played for the Junior Toppers until middle school and me and him have been battling ever since we was little. He has given me that competitive edge my whole life.”

Chandley said one of biggest plays Lang made was a reception his junior season in a first-round playoff win against Sevier County.

“We were already down 14-0 and had a big third-and-eight,” Chandley said. “And we threw a little skinny post to him over the middle and he made a catch in traffic that kind of got us going a little bit. We had played about 10 minutes of game time and hadn’t scored a point and ended up putting 63 on the board. That play kind of kick-started us on offense. We were facing our third three-and-out in a row and he was able to make the big catch for us.

“He played a really good game at Dobyns-Bennett this year. He had an interception, a couple of other pass breakups.”

Lang had three healthy financial offers from programs.

“Emory & Henry was the first school who offered me,” he said. “So I would like to be appreciated not tolerated in a sense. Coach (Curt) Newsome and Coach (Nick) Copas have raved about how I can be special player in the ‘HardHat Defense.’”

Lang said playing for the Pioneers during the program’s high-water mark under Chandley has been a blessing.

“I thank David Crockett and this whole community for coming every Friday night and supporting our guys,” he said. “It is once-in-lifetime feeling of walking out the tunnel and having a whole community behind your back. I believe the team next year can make a lot of noise. They’re young and will have other kids step up and be leaders, which I see no problem with them finding those with the great coaching staff that we have at David Crockett. I wish the best for the Pioneers.”

Lang has developed steadily the past four years.

“The maturity we’ve seen from him since his freshman year is really cool to see,” Chandley said. “It makes it even more special that he was in that first class when we took over. I’m just really excited that he’s gotten this opportunity to go to an up-and-coming Division II school. Hopefully he can go up there and compete and represent himself and Crockett in a good way. He can learn from some really good coaches and hopefully make a good college career out of it.”