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ALL SMILES: Beulah senior Isaiah Glidewell sits down before signing his letter of intent with Itasca Community College on Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Rashad Milligan

Beulah defensive end Glidewell signs to play college football

BEULAH — Isaiah Glidewell wanted to quit playing football two years ago.

“I went to the hospital,” Glidewell said. “It was really bad, my weight dropped and I was like ‘I want to quit football’ [My mom] was like, ‘no, you’re not quitting football.’ We just went back-and-forth about that, and she kept me in it.”

On one morning during his sophomore year, Glidewell woke up for his jamboree football game. The then 16-year-old wasn’t feeling well, and when his mother Tabatha Glidewell proposed that he’d go to the doctor, he insisted on going to school. A few hours later, Beulah High School representatives called Tabatha and told her that he was sick.

“When I walked in, he pretty much had to be dragged to the car,” Tabatha said. “He was white as a ghost. We got there, and they said that he had a stomach bleed.”

Glidewell spent the next week in the hospital where he found out he was anemic. It took the  6-foot-2, 230-pound defensive end three months to get his strength back as he sat out his sophomore season.

“I told him that if you live in my house, then you’re going to play football,” Tabatha said. “I knew it was in his heart. He told me ‘thank you, mama, for keeping me  in football when I didn’t want to because that’s where my heart is.’ He’s always been in sports, and I know he’s going to do big things.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Glidewell signed his letter of intent to play football at Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

“It’s just a reflection of his hard work,” Beulah head football coach Cody Flournoy said. “He’s a guy who had God-given ability, and what he’s been able to do is use and maximize that. Of course, it ends up with the opportunity to play college ball.”

Going to school in Minnesota will be the first time that Glidewell will live outside of the South. He said that he chose Itasca because he felt that the program would put him in the best position to achieve his on-the-field goal of playing Division-I football at a major university.

Glidewell plans to remain at defensive end in college and aims to weigh 280 pounds by the time he finishes at Itasca.

“He’s a high-motor guy,” Flournoy said. “What we saw from him was that he had the tools. He got better technique and he’s a guy that could dominate a game when he decided to. He played hard, we had him for two years and he just kept getting better and better.”

Glidewell was selected to the 2018 All-Valley Area Football Team last season after leading Beulah in sacks, quarterback hurries and tackles for a loss, a category he led the team in for a second consecutive year.

It’s another notable mark for a career that nearly ended early five semesters ago.

“I’m very thankful,”  Glidewell said. “I just thank God every day for this opportunity to get me this far. I have to give all thanks to God, I wouldn’t be here without Him.”