Recruiting: Like father like son. Isaiah Kacyvenski follows in his dad’s footsteps by committing to Harvard

BB&N wide receiver and defensive back Isaiah Kacyvenski always envisioned himself playing college football at Harvard someday. So when he committed to the school last week, it was the realization of a life long dream.

Normally when any player commits to Harvard it is a big deal but it is even more significant when the player committing follows in his father’s footsteps.

Isaiah’s dad, Isaiah Kacyvenski Sr. is a Harvard Football legend. He started all four years for the Crimson, securing Ivy League All Rookie Honors as a freshmen and All-Ivy League honors for the next three years. The elder Kacyvenski finished with 135 tackles his senior season, a Harvard record. He received the Nils V. “Swede” Nelson Award given to the most academically talented football player in New England. Isaiah Sr. also won the Harvard University Male Athlete of the Year following his senior season and was a fourth round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in the 2000 NFL Draft.

Most sons would have a hard time filling shoes that big, but to Isaiah, he is honored to be following in his father’s footsteps at Harvard.

“Obviously, my dad left a legacy at Harvard, on and off the field. Growing up around such a special place, I was not only able to see firsthand the mark he left on the football program, but I was also able to grasp just how impactful and life changing a Harvard degree can be for someone.” Kacyvenski added: “My dad’s story is special and has always been something that I am so proud of him for, but I plan to write my own story and I can’t wait to get to work on blazing my own Crimson path.”

Isaiah Sr. is elated that his son is going to Harvard but he never put any pressure on him to make that decision.

“I’m still in shock. I am overwhelmingly happy for him. He put this process on his shoulders. We wanted him to make his own decision and be happy. We weren’t pushing him either way. He wanted a place close to home.”

Despite his parents not pressuring him, Isaiah knew how important this decision was to both his parents, not just his dad.

“It was definitely a very surreal and special moment for them. They were great in making sure I owned any decision I was going to make for college. They have put so much time and effort into making sure I set myself up for success, and words cannot express how much that means to me. ” Kacyvenski added: “Once everything came together on the commitment to Harvard, I couldn’t stop smiling for them. Not to mention that I committed to my dad’s alma mater on Father’s Day weekend. Doesn’t get much better than that if you ask me. It still hasn’t completely hit me yet and it probably won’t for a while. I feel so incredibly blessed and I know that my story has only just begun.”

Having the opportunity to also play for Harvard Coach Tim Murphy means a lot to Isaiah Sr. who has nothing but the utmost respect for the Harvard coach.

“To have him play for the same coach (Murphy) is pretty amazing. My wife and I are shocked but pretty excited for him.”

For Isaiah, the coaching did in fact play a big role in his decision to commit to Harvard.

“The football program and coaching staff is top tier and I have seen the lifelong brotherhood they create.”

As far as what he will play. The younger Kacyvenski will not be following in his father’s footsteps and play linebacker. Instead, he will play safety for the Crimson.

“Coach Murphy along with Coach Poppe and Coach Fucillo have all told me they see me as a safety in their defense, which is very exciting for me. I feel like the sky’s the limit for me in that position.” Kacyvenski continued: “I look forward to making an impact on special teams as well. I am open to play wherever they see I fit best. I can’t wait to get to work once my senior fall has concluded with BB&N football.

Aside from football, the academic piece is the other reason why Kacyvenski chose to commit to Harvard. He has a good understanding of the value of academics and athletics. The emphasis on both were instilled in him at a young by his parents. For Isaiah Sr, the two were a way out of poverty for him and that is why they are at the core of the family’s foundation.

“The biggest thing me and my wife have tried to instill. I saw the value in academics and sports at a young age. We wanted to impart the value of that in our kids. Work hard in the classroom and on the field. Do that in anything you do. It didn’t have to be sports. It can be anything they chose to do. Stressing both sets you up in life.”

Isaiah has already though about life after football. He plans on starting his own business. He likes the challenge of starting something from the ground up.

“I plan on majoring in Entrepreneurship in some form. I love the idea of being able to create a business from the ground up and building a team to achieve that vision.”

Kacyvenski can now focus on finishing his career with the Knights and trying to win an ISL title. It would be a fitting end before he carves how own path at Harvard.