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I-Team: Pitt Ignores Tom Bradley Equals Ishaq To Penn State?

The commitment will likely wait until Larry Johnson either follows or stays.

(Update: 9:03p Reports out of Pittsburgh have Tulsa’s Todd Grahamas the next head coach of the Panthers. If true, cross your fingers Tom Bradley will be hired by UConn. If Bradley remains at Penn State, one would assume Ishaq Williams would commit to the Nittany Lions.)

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From the Department of Blind Optimism: The picture attached is a photoshopped image of what Ishaq might look like in a Syracuse uniform courtesy of a Fizz Reader.

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It appears there’s a standoff in Ishaq Williams’ decision until Pitt or UConn makes their head coaching hire. Both schools are reported to be interested in PSU defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, which could lead to a domino effect in Ishaq’s recruiter with the Nittany Lions either following Bradley or being promoted at PSU. It means Penn State leads the sweepstakes, not Syracuse or Notre Dame. Miami has been eliminated.

If you’re like Team Fizz and using TweetDeck to follow the Ishaq saga, you already realize targeting #Ishaq has led to some great leads and, on Saturday, enormous news about a Pakistani Official who wants to curtail the cabinet size in that country. Fascinating.

As a suggestion, add two more search columns. “Tom Bradley” and “Larry Johnson.” Bradley is the hot coaching candidate and Johnson has led the Ishaq sales job at PSU. Will Johnson follow Bradley wherever he lands?

This question became a lot more interesting yesterday as the Hartford Courant is reporting that Bradley met in Dallas yesterday with UConn Athletic Director Jeff Hathaway. We’re pretty sure Miss Teen South Carolina had something to do with the geography of that meeting, but back to football.

If Bradley is being considered for two jobs, that means he’s twice as likely to leave Happy Valley. The feeling around Pennsylvania is that he’s still headed to Pitt, but where he goes, in terms of Ishaq, is probably irrelevant. It’s whether or not he takes Johnson with him.

That information, unlike news on Bradley, is much harder to find. Bradley is obviously not going to comment on which coaches he’d like to take publicly before he has a job, but all the rumors are is that he’d want to take Johnson with him as DC and recruiting coordinator. Johnson has been at Penn State for 15 years under Joe Pa and alongside both of his sons, Tony and Larry (yes NFL running back Larry Johnson… hide ya kids, hide ya wife).

It would obviously take something special for him to leave. Clearly money is always a factor and reports suggest Bradley would throw lots of cash at Johnson to bring him west across the state. However, there are also reports that Johnson could be named the DC at PSU and wouldn’t be going anywhere.

The more you read, the muddier the situation becomes, but one thing is crystal clear. The Big East Coaching Carousel could end up benefitting Syracuse far more than we ever imagined. Bradley going to UConn or Pitt and taking Johnson with him could be the catalyst that brings Ishaq to Syracuse, or if Johnson stays, it could be the final factor to send of Ishaq to Penn State.

Someone is going to have to make a decision soon. Ishaq still plans to enroll early and classes started today at PSU and begin next week at Syracuse and Notre Dame. National Signing Day is less than a month away and for Pitt, not having a head coach isn’t solid ground for recruits. This means resolution is coming, and we can only hope it happens soon.

TweetDecks everywhere can barely handle it anymore.

Posted: Craig Hoffman

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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