I-Team: Golden Steers Ishaq Towards Miami, Source Tells Fizz SU Looks Good

A crazy day in Ishaq Land as we now confirm Al Golden has made a late Miami push.

(Update: 4:01p The Fizz has learned Al Golden has been the difference-maker in the Ishaq Sweepstakes. A source tells us one of the first tasks Golden made a priority was visiting Ishaq’s home. The new Miami coach was tipped off to Williams’ long-time fascination with the defenses at the “U.” Golden – in his trademark ability to leave no stone unturned – flew to New York City and made an in-house visit to Ishaq immediately upon being named ‘Canes head coach.

Sources tell us Ishaq’s announcement may not wait until National Signing Day. He still plans on early enrollment at the school he chooses. It seems pretty concrete now, Miami has become a big time player in the race for Ishaq.

1:01p Rumors fly that Ishaq has postponed his announcement and will visit Miami before making his decision. Williams had been scheduled to commit this weekend during the All-America Bowl festivities in San Antonio. It had looked like it was been between Syracuse and Notre Dame. The arrival of aggressive Al Golden may have changed the game for Ishaq. Reportedly, Ishaq grew up watching Hurricanes games and has always felt a connection to the dominant defensive lineage the Canes have produced. Ishaq has almost a month until National Signing Day, Feb. 2nd. Follow @orangefizz for constant Twitter updates on this developing story.)

* * *

The Fizz has spoken to a person close to Ishaq’s family and the buzz sounds good for Syracuse’s chances at landing the elite prospect Saturday.

Us media types always have to ask “what does it mean?” It’s not enough to simply know something, we also have to also peel back another layer. What does Ishaq Williams’ dad wearing a Notre Dame hat mean? Apparently nothing. Papa Williams was rocking an Orange lid at Tuesday morning’s practice for the All-America Bowl.

(For the record, Dad sported a Yankees cap Monday afternoon and a Padres hat Tuesday afternoon. Penn State is definitely out of the mix if the Lions can’t beat out an NL West squad.)

The Fizz will have daily I-Team reports all week. Hit us up daily and follow us on Twitter @orangefizz

We know as fact that the dynamic defensive end was at the Pinstripe Bowl. The Fizz has spoken to a person close with Ishaq, who uncovered terrific news about the experience. The source spoke to Ishaq immediately after the game and said he felt extremely loved.

For the entirety of the game, Orange Nation was approaching Ishaq and imploring him to “Come to ‘Cuse! Come to ‘Cuse!”

  1. Syracuse fans, job well done.
  2. According to our little bird, Ishaq loved every second of it, which enhances the “family feel” that HCDM and crew are trying to sell.

If you’ll remember, one of the key points during Ishaq’s visit was Scott Shafer pelting him with a snowball. Family is enormous to him, and that’s what could bring him to Syracuse. This is a young man who lost his younger brother, whom he considered his best friend, when he was shot and killed. Ishaq’s entire high school team acted as family and spent most of the next few weeks at his house during the grieving.

If Syracuse can recreate that feeling as he goes away to college it will be the key to his recruitment. Often lost in the madness is an 18-year-old kid who’s deciding where to spend his first time away from home.

Final tidbit which could mean a huge day for SU Saturday: A Fizz source close to the family told us there will be a moratorium on phone contact this week leading up to the announcement. This decision was made at the recommendation of none other than Doug Marrone.

If the family is listening to Marrone for advice before he commits, that clearly shows the relationship and respect shared. Ishaq and his father are incredibly close, and one would imagine dad would only trust him with a coach he believes in.

If Ishaq goes to Notre Dame, it’s the scheme, the coaching staff, and the history. If he chooses SU, it’s because he wants to be a part of a family and what Marrone is building.

What would the addition of Ishaq Williams mean? That in just two short years, Syracuse football is back.

Posted: Craig Hoffman

44 Comments on this Post

  1. Any word on the Miami vist and a possible delay in his decision?

  2. Working on it as we speak.

  3. Did he stay for the whole game? It was almost 14-0 really early.

  4. Now hearing that ishaq has officially delayed his decision to he can consider/visit Miami. This can’t be good at this stage in the game. I can understand if it were months ago, but now? Also hearing Miami is his dream school. F***. Fizz guys, what’s going on with this?

  5. Don’t think you can “recreate” the family feeling. It either exists or it does not. My feeling is that Marrone has strengthened the bonds with everyone involved in the program, including the fans. With all the coaching uncertainties these days Marrone and his program will be sure to keep that family feeling intact for a long time to come. My bet would be with HCDM and Syracuse.

  6. Miami is nothing special these days. If Ishaq were smart, he would appreciate what is going on at SU right now. He would appreciate the fact that he would be the difference maker at a school on a huge rise, while at Miami, he would be just another big recruit at a school that isn’t doing anything special these days. Ishaq’s family can’t see too many games in Miami. Plane tix aren’t cheap. Screw Miami.

  7. I feel like it would be a waste of talent if he went to SU. He would be a difference maker at the U as well. We have a new coach and a great tradition. Miami is also on a huge rise. LET’S GO CANES!

  8. How would he be a waste at SU? that makes no sense.

  9. jh….

    Syracuse has a better defense than Miami, & is on the upswing. Miami is about to install a new system, which will take at least a season or two for the players to be proficient.

    Ishaq has the chance to be a SUPERSTAR in America’s BEST defense, as opposed to just another cog in a broken machine at Miami.

  10. Saltine44

    This is a joke. Miami didn’t have a “tradition” until HS showed up in South Beach in the mid 80’s. Tradition is about Jim Brown, Larry Czonka, Floyd Little, Ernie Davis, Art Monk, Donovan McNabb, Marvin Harrison, Dwight Freeney, Moose, etc. being ranked #15 in all time wins and having 7 HOFs with more to come. Building boys into men well beyond their playing days. If Ishaq can’t see what is happening to SU football in front of his eyes, then his dad should talk sense into him. HCDM will be talked about in the same breath as all the greats when its all said and done. If this doesn’t work Freeney should call this young man and show him the way. Go Cuse!

  11. How is Syracuse on the rise? They have one winning season in their last 5 years, until this year haven’t won a bowl game since 2001, and had a bowl game this year in their very own state of NY and couldn’t even reach 75% attendance. 53,325 seats were available for the pinstripe bowl, 39,240 attended. That is pretty embarassing.

  12. Voice of reason time. Cuse is clearly on the way up. If you can’t see that, you didn’t watch. This team got to a bowl game in year two of a new regime. You also can’t blame the attendance on SU. The crowd was at least 80% orange, and the 75% is infinitely better than most non-BCS bowl game.

    As far as Miami, he has a chance to be a key player in the reclamation of his favorite childhood program. In that sense, it’s the appeal Lebron had in going to New York. He could have been the guy who saved NBA basketball in New York. Ishaq can be that guy in Miami.

    Lastly, remember this kid is 18. I’m sure he knows of Syracuse’s history, but he remembers Miami’s. Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Sean Taylor, and all those guys.

    There’s still a lot pointing to Syracuse though. Stay tuned tomorrow for an update.

  13. Hoffman, what are you hearing about the possible postponement of his decision? We all know he wants to enroll in classes this month, so like your article points out, he won’t be waiting until National Signing Day to make his decision. That leaves us to wonder… does he postpone his decision until next week after a visit to Miami? Or does he still make his decision this Saturday (Al Golden and all considered), with classes starting in only a week or so?

  14. Marty H.

    I don’t know how important academics is in his decision, I thought that I read at one time that it was, but Miami is a southern school and not too strong there. If academics are important, Syracuse and Notre Dame have much better reputations.

  15. What separated Syracuse from being a top 20 team this year was its quarterback. If they had a decent signal-caller, this team would have been a 11-2, 10-3, type team. The defense was ranked 5th nationally going into its bowl game. The problem was the offense. Carter got no help from Nassib. Defenses were not kept honest with an inaccurate QB like Nassib running the show.

    Ishaq can follow in the footsteps of one of the NFL’s great pass rushers, Dwight Freeney, and he can step in and be the man on an already stellar defense. This is the PERFECT situation for this kid. Notre Dame gets many 4 star recruits, but they do nothing, year in, and year out. It’s about the system, the coaching, and the work ethic. He would have it all here in Cuse .

  16. You guys write on here like the kid reads these comments. Also, I wouldn’t hype the record this year because we played such a weak out of conference schedule.

  17. If Ishaq chooses Syracuse, he will be doing himself a huge disservice. He will be selling himself incredibly short if he settles for Syracuse. He is way better than that.

  18. ADP, explain your rationale LOL. Should he go to Miami, where the program just hired a new coach a few weeks ago? A school which just got blown out by a mediocre Notre Dame team. Or should he go to Notre Dame, a school which consistently underachieves, year in and year out, with all their ballyhooed 4 star underachieving recruits, and plays a defensive scheme he doesn’t like?

    Or maybe Syracuse, a school which is ranked in the top 10 defensively, plays his scheme, and is obviously doing bigger and better things than Miami. Miami was “it” in the 90’s, and those days are far from over. Notre Dame was “it” decades ago.

    But I ask again ADP, explain your rationale as to why he would be “selling himself short” or he would be “doing himself a huge disservice if he settles for Syracuse.” What a joke you trollers are. Syracuse produces solid NFL talent, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

  19. Hey “ADP”.. you appear to be a snob/elitist. And you seem to be in a panic for some reason, yes? What’s the problem, boy? Haaaaaa!!!

    Ishaq will be playing for the ‘Cuse! Go Orange!

  20. Sorry I’m just getting back to you guys.

    Vito – As Conroy and I talk about in Today’s Fizz (, a rep from the All-American Bowl told us as far as they know, the decision is still Saturday.

    ADP – If he goes to Syracuse he’s far from settling. He gets to be a pass rush DE in a blitz happy defense that for his first year will rotate in and out with Marinovich and Jones. I think you can’t look too much into our “top 10 defense” because anybody who watched knew that secondary was awful. However in talking to players the guys coming in next year are studs and the defense, despite its stellar numbers, is going to improve drastically in 2011.

    Brad – Where have you been man? The biggest reason Ishaq wants to go to ND is the 3-4! Other than that, some good points though, although we’d all be lying to ourselves if we don’t think Notre Dame is gonna be good moving forward with Brian Kelly. He’s a hell of a coach.

    Last but not least, Marty – Yes, Miami isn’t quite on the level of Cuse and Notre Dame academically, but it is a very very good academic school. Not quite sure what a “southern school” has to do with it. You’re talking to someone who grew up in the south. There are plenty of good schools down here, so don’t hate!

  21. Robert Pullman

    I’d rather see him at SU, of course, but Miami is a good school academically, has a great campus and great fans, and it has put many players in the NFL. There used to be, maybe still are, the “Hurricane Honeys” – co-ed volunteers. Quite possibly there will be a skybox seat at a Heat game during the visit. “Did LeBron just look up and give me a sign!?”

    And maybe, even if all that happens, he’ll wait a few days and maybe come back down to earth and base his decision on which school will best prepare him for life, with or without the NFL. Dwight Freeney has done pretty well, and so has Tim Green.

  22. Hoff, I thought he didn’t like the 3-4 scheme? I read an article which said the defense employed at Notre Dame is contrary to what he is used to playing in. If I am wrong, then what I read was wrong. God, I am spending too much time on a situation which involves an 18-year old kid deciding which school he wants to play football. ugh

  23. You’re right, but wrong. He has played in the 4-3 in high school, but likes the 3-4 and wants to give it a try. So yes, he’s played in a 4-3, but no he doesn’t not want to play in a 3-4 moving forward.

  24. Hoffman, you got any info on the Kevin McReynolds recruit? I watched his video where he goes into detail about his trip to Syracuse, and all seemed good there, except for his comments about the snow and landing the plane in snow, etc. Wondering where he stands on Cuse at this point.

  25. We know he’s still considering Cuse strongly. I’d also tell you to stay tuned next week.

  26. Al Golden Is doing an amazing job, how about that DT from Booker T. #53 and the RB from Central high school, verbals don’t mean anything so go for it AL Golden go and get them.

  27. As a SU fan, you cant compare Miami to SU.

    Miami is a NFL Factory. They produce the best players. I think I read that Miami has 10 players going to the Pro-Bowl this year. Plus they get a ton more media attention that we do.

    BTW. They have 5 National Championships in the last 30 years. More than any other school.

  28. Miami did have a tradition before highschool in the ’80s. We were the first team to use a smoke entrance for players in the ’50s lol. Don’t talk about players in the NFL Saltine44. Jerry knows what he is talking about. It might be too late for Miami, but we will push.

  29. jhtheking, and jerry, what is Miami doing on the field these days? Never mind Miami’s former players, but what are the doing on the field my friends? That’s what I thought.

    Anyway, hate to break it to you, but Ishaq is still making his decision on Saturday. No visit to Miami = no chance for Miami. Sorry bud.

  30. Well he didn’t commit today.. What has Syracuse done? You had one more win than us` so don’t claim victory. We consistently pull in top recruiting classes so it’s not like we are done. We just had a bad coach. BTW we have several players going into the draft.. again.

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