Former FAMU receiver West gave football all he could

By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook Staff Writer

Former FAMU receiver Isaac West finds a new career

Perry West felt compelled to have the talk with his son, Isaac.
Isaac’s insistence on continuing his pursuit to play football on a professional level just wasn’t working out. His collegiate career as a receiver at FAMU had been over for years.

Dad just has to be dad and say something to his son.
“He was at a fork in the road to decide which direction his life was going to go,” Perry West said.
The conversation turned on a light for Isaac, who for some time wanted to do everything he could to provide for his daughter, Ta’miya. Three years of playing arena league football wasn’t doing it.
Perry and his wife Josie were feeling the pinch too, supporting their youngest of three sons. It got to a point that Perry had to have to sit-down with Isaac.
“I was giving him some tough love to a degree,” he said.
During the off-season’s, Isaac resorted to working for the city of Tallahassee utility, checking water meters.
Not exactly what Isaac wanted to do. After, all he has a college degree in criminal justice.
The talk with his dad was an eye-opener that sent Isaac on a path that he wasn’t even sure of.
“We know the qualities we have, but my dad helped me see it for myself,” Isaac said.
“The only way you can see it is to be a risk taker.”
These days Isaac is taking his chances with the Capital Police in Washington, D.C. It’s been three years now.
Yep. He’s protecting politicians on the Hill.
And he is loving it.
Almost as much as football. Without the demands of being in condition year-round, though.
He still stays in shape, mind you. But not because he has to be fit to compete with the next guy to keep his football position on the field.
The job has opened a whole new world for Isaac, with plenty of perks.
Being a Capital Police agent allows him to live a more normal life. He can take a cruise or make more frequent trips to see his daughter, who lives with her mother in Tennessee.
Ta’miya is happy about that. She’d been telling her dad football was too risky.
But so is this job, as it is for any cop.
Isaac saw that danger play out back in June when James T. Hodgekinson launched attack on a group of congressmen while they practiced for a charity baseball game. West might have been there if he wasn’t on another assignment a few miles away.
News of shooting sent Isaac’s nerves into overdrive.
“Of course, it’s nervous because at the same time you never expect that to happen, but they prepare you for situations like that,” he said.
“It kind of gives you a wakeup call to know what’s reality is; make sure you are prepared and to what you have to do make sure you survive and go home every day.”
Not every assignment is high-risk. Sometimes he gets to do things like escorting Sasha, the daughter of former president Barack Obama at a wedding.
That’s a long way from the day when he tried out unsuccessfully with the Minnesota Vikings and the Tennessee Titans.  Isaac would say those disappointments were a blessing now.
They led him to what he calls his “dream job.”
“I enjoy it a lot,” he said. “I see a lot of things a lot of people don’t see.”