West Covina defensive back Isaiah Love is in danger of missing his senior season after suffering a serious neck/upper back injury during a trip to the Bay Area last weekend for an unofficial college visit.
Love was with Body By Tra, a workout club/7-on7 team owned and operated by Traison Lewis, on what was supposed to be an unofficial visit to Cal and San Jose St., and possibly a performance in last weekend’s Nike Camp in Oakland.
Instead, the van the team was traveling in was involved in an accident that saw several passengers end up hospitalized. Love wound up with a hairline fracture of one of his vertebrae and will be in a neck brace for eight weeks. The first specialist who saw him, according to Bulldogs coach Mike Maggiore, said that Love won’t play his senior season.
News of the accident has not sat well with many area football observers, especially coaches, who are perplexed at how Love could be with Body By Tra on a road trip while his high school team had a competition that same day against Glendora.
“Isaiah should’ve been with us,” Maggiore said. “I don’t like outside influences any more than anybody else does. But at the same time, he was going up to visit colleges.
“I just don’t like how it was handled. Tra rented another van and continued on with the trip while kids were still in the hospital. How it was handled, I don’t agree with. I know it bothered quite a few people.”
Coaches across the Southland have grown increasingly fed up with outside influences from traveling passing teams like Body By Tra. Some have even decided to form their own school-based traveling passing teams rather than have kids play for outside coaches.
Lewis has become an omni-present figure on the local prep football scene thanks to the popularity of his training network and passing team. The team Love is a part of also features Bishop Amat standout recruits Trevon Sidney and Tyler Vaughns, and Charter Oak’s Zion Echols. All three of those players stayed home last weekend to compete with the their high school teams in the Charter Oak Tournament.
Love, a top corner back prospect, has offers from San Jose St., UNLV, Fresno St. and San Diego St. Maggiore said Oregon St. was prepared to offer this week but after hearing what happened has decided to hold off.
Lewis was contacted for comment about this story last weekend but did not return calls or texts.