Rattlers’ Land leads nation in sacks

Isaiah Land and teammates celebrate after a successful play against South Carolina State.
Photo courtesy: Isaiah Land’s Instagram Account

Isaiah Land, a redshirt junior linebacker for FAMU, set the new school record with five sacks in a single game earlier this month. He’s also the sack leader in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision.

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., and raised in Gwinnett County, Ga., Land is a sociology major.  He decided to attend FAMU because the schools and the coaches had faith in him.

“FAMU was the only school to offer me because I was underweight,” Land said. “Being overlooked and counted out because of my weight makes me play with a chip on my shoulder and it also makes me want to give my best performance for my coaches since they believed in me from the jump,” he said.

The linebacker has always known what he’s wanted to be , and he’s hungry to achieve greatness. With just five regular-season games left, Land plans to continue to “apply pressure”.

“I’ve always wanted to be a great pass rusher,” Land said. “Leading the country is something I’ve always dreamed of and talked about so I just have to continue to apply pressure and finish the season strong.”

In Land’s last five games he has made at least one sac, per game, his total so far is 10. He had one sack against Fort Valley State University on Sept. 11, one against University of South Florida on Sept. 18,  three against Alabama State on Oct. 2, and a record-breaking five sacks in the home win against South Carolina State on Oct. 9.

Orlando McKinley, Land’s former FAMU teammate who’s a graduate assistant coach, described Land’ important role on the team.

“Being that I am a former teammate of his I know from experience that he has a great relationship with his brothers,” McKinley said. “He’s taken on the leader role and he’s doing a great job being the example that the guys need to see daily.”

McKinley said that Land breaking the record wasn’t a shock at all.

“Him breaking the record and holding the title didn’t come as a surprise at all. From personally knowing him you see the work that he puts in day in and day out,” McKinley said. “He has transformed his body, he’s taking care of the little things off the field. So to see it carry over to the field is no surprise at all. It all comes down to those little things and the work that coach Patterson, Smith, and Sharp have been putting in to make it all easier.”

With just five regular-season games left, Land and the FAMU football team plan to “finish strong.” He hopes to graduate in December 2023 and wants to play on Sundays in the NFL.