PCS' record-breaking running back signs with Ole Miss after E-F3 tornado destroys home


HATTIESBURG, Miss. - It is National Signing Day for high school seniors and on Wednesday Presbyterian Christian School's (PCS) record-breaking running back, Isaiah Woullard signed with the University of Mississippi days after a deadly E-F3 tornado destroyed his family's house.

Isaiah broke the all-time state rushing record last season as he ran for 2,761 yards and rushed in 36 touchdowns. He also helped his team have an 11-1 record. But as his family celebrates his success, they are also picking up the pieces.

Isaiah said, “It ruined everything, you know our houses, the other houses around us, it was just a bad time, it tore up everything.”

His mother, Joyce Woullard told FOX 23 news, "I knew it was bad because we can hear all the debris falling, you know windows breaking, things just being flown everywhere.”

It may have been the sirens or the heavy wind, but something compelled Isaiah's mom to wake up that night and turn on the television.

Mrs. Woullard said she never turns on the television during a storm and she owes it all to God.

“Soon I saw a map on the screen and it says PCS, Richburg, and of course we live off of Richburg Road and so then that got my attention" said Mrs. Woullard.

Everything in their world, literally crumbled down a few moments later.

Isaiah, his mother, and younger brother ran to the bathroom, which turned out to be the only room in the entire house with a roof still intact.

She said if she did not wake up to warn her family, something could have happened very differently.

While the three family members huddled in their bathtub, Isaiah's dad, Reginal Woullard, ran to get a mattress to protect his family, but it was too late, the tornado was right outside their house.

Mrs. Woullard said, “They were calling daddy, daddy, and for a couple of minutes, we didn’t hear a reply, you know my youngest son yelling, daddy, daddy, and I’m like Reg!”

Under the rubble and debris they hear the sound of life, Mr. Woullard was safely hiding under Isaiah's mattress and replied he was safe.

Though this unfortunate event left the Woullard's temporarily displaced, they see a common silver lining.

“The resilience that we have comes from our faith in God, we believe that He’s the author and finisher of our faith" said Mr. Woullard.

He added, "He is an orchestra of our life, and we knew that He had a plan.”

A plan by a higher power that is in Isaiah's favor, giving him the opportunity to sign with Ole Miss. At 18-years-young he is wise enough to know when one door closes, another opens.

“That’s how life is, you know its ups and downs, and I just say its all God, He just, He turns it all around" Isaiah said.

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