Shaun Williams told Irish Illustrated “Everything else at Notre Dame just added up, It’s really just what he was looking for. He really admires coach Diaco and really admires coach (Brian) Kelly. Coach Kelly is a proven winner and might just prove to be the next Joe Paterno, if he wants to coach that long.”
This is not terribly surprising since as the saga wore on, it appeared the Orange were fading. Again, Syracuse being involved to the end on an elite recruit while battling Notre Dame and Penn State was victory in itself. Additionally, if the Williams clan pushed Syracuse out front early in the process to help Marrone and the program, it was incredibly valuable. The Orange now sets its sights toward Feb. 2nd.
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Ishaq Williams father, Shaun, has exchanged emails with The Fizz and Orange Nation can rest easy. The decision of where the elite defensive end will attend will not be influenced in any way by the recent controversy on this website.
Shaun Williams commented Wednesday night on a Fizz post which was critical of some of his comments. In response, The Fizz emailed him the reasoning behind the post, which opened a positive and encouraging dialogue to clarify the viewpoints of both sides. The fear that a Syracuse blog being critical of the family would push Ishaq toward Notre Dame or Penn State is unfounded, says Papa Williams.
“ishaq’s decision will not be based on blogger’s musings or criticisms. his decision (which is ultimately his) will be based on deliberation with his family and head coach and prayer. the most important factors that he is looking for is the quality of the educational experience, the strength of the alumni network, and the expertise of the coaching staff.”
In fact, Shaun Williams was complimentary of how we have covered the recruiting process thus far (good to hear – we’ve spent more man hours on Ishaq than digging the Panama Canal).
“by and large, the orange fizz has given ishaq and his process great coverage and we appreciate that. we do understand that as the young man’s performance is garnering national attention, the moves of him and his team are open to public scrutiny. as we look forward, we do understand that his brand will take him farther than his tackling ability. we do understand that there is no ‘I’ in team; only in ISHAQ.”
Both Ishaq’s parents are SU alums and once again spoke highly of their alma mater.
“we love syracuse university, especially coach marrone and coach anselmo and we are glad that SU is reemerging on the national scene… ultimately ishaq’s actions have nothing to do w/ statements (on any blog).”
As previously noted, The Fizz had an issue with the appearance Ishaq’s celebrity was of high priority to his parents instead of “the right fit” for their son. The concern was founded – high school athletics is littered with broken values and immediate fame – but attaching that concern to the Williams family was not. In discussing things with Shaun Williams, he proved his interests were in every way supportive and nurturing for his son. He also understood the nature of our concern with those statements. The AAU circuit and high-profile recruiting landscape is littered with “support groups” that are merely opportunists pushing their athletes toward the fastest-moving gravy train. Luckily for Ishaq, his parents are not part of this.
We reach out to parents, coaches and friends of star prep athletes regularly at The Fizz. Many times we come away wincing at the “direction” a young athlete is receiving. Luckily, we provided the key word in all of this: “If.” The original post read, “If Ishaq’s parents have made the marketing of him a priority, I’m no longer proud they attended my alma mater.” There are many one-parent or unstable families of star athletes that make that the priority every day. I found out it is not one for the Williams and after discussing the situation in further detail with Shaun, I’m very proud we’re both Orange.
UPDATED: The time frame Ishaq was working under essentially mandated he make a decision before the weekend was through and he did. He planned to enroll early and both Notre Dame and Syracuse begin classes for spring semester Tuesday. Ishaq has avoided the spotlight the entire process (witness the delay in making an announcement on NBC during the All-American Bowl). So it was not suprising Ishaq gave his verbal this morning but had no grand “decision party” or “look at me” moment. He does consider his teammates family and it may serve him well to wait until Feb. 2nd and National Signing Day and return to Brooklyn to share in the experience with his Lincoln teammates.