While Ishaq Williams remains quiet on his decision, his father has finally spoken about the process and whether there is a leader for his son’s commitment. Team Ishaq has been largely mum for the last week, outside of his former high school coach Shawn O’Connor’s words on the eve of the All-American Bowl. However, The New York Post has quoted Shaun Williams in a story from early this morning.
The Fizz feels Penn State is where Ishaq is leaning unless Tom Bradley left to take a job elswhere (and potentially took recruiting coordinator Larry Johnson with him). His father – while trying to be diplomatic to all three finalists – gave us no reason to believe otherwise.
“Doug Marrone and [Notre Dame coach] Brian Kelly are new, we’re pretty confident those guys will be there when Ishaq walks across the stage [with his diploma]. Paterno may not be there, however the stability of the Penn State program would still be in place.”
Here’s a direct quote from Ishaq from Saturday.
“There’s some information that came up and I want to make sure it settles out first. I’m just waiting for everything to stabilize at a particular school. I can’t really discuss that, sorry.”
The situation Ishaq spoke of is very clearly at Penn State. Both Syracuse and Notre Dame have no movment in their coaching staffs that would affect Williams. It’s obvious the family is waiting and watching Bradley’s landing spot.
We know it’s highly unlikely the legendary JoePa will coach Ishaq for all four years. He would be an archaic 88 at the end of Ishaq’s eligibility.
However, if Bradley remains in Happy Valley the consistency in Penn State’s program would – as Papa Williams notes – be in place. Most importantly, Bradley would not be taking Johnson with him (or Johnson could be elevated to DC at PSU – even better for Ishaq).
Shaun Williams continued:
“At this point, everyone is equal. There is something that’s appealing about each situation – the family connection with Syracuse, the high level of expertise with Penn State and the storied history of Notre Dame and the ability to get that program back to national prominence and for Ishaq to be a household name across America.”
Optimists would paint this as a great sign for the Orange. Realists would recognize this is the diplomatic answer by a well-prepared family structure.
Remember, Ishaq’s father was the one that donned both Notre Dame AND Syracuse hats last week during All-American Bowl practice. Would Shaun Williams truly tip his son’s hand this late in the game? It does Team Ishaq no good to publicly lean toward one school.
One note from the story is also in question. The Post reports Ishaq woke up Saturday morning having made a decision and intended to announce it during the game as scheduled, but after speaking with his family decided to postpone the annoucement. It was widely reported (including here) Ishaq decided Friday to delay his decision. In fact, the All-American Bowl had officially taken Ishaq off its commitment list the night prior to the game.
From the Post: “Shaun Williams also said reports that his son was waiting to see if Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, who is a popular name for several open head-coaching jobs, was staying in State College, is untrue. Defensive line coach Larry Johnson, though, who has served as the lead recruiter for Williams, does have a vital role.”
“Larry Johnson is very appealing to us – his expertise and track record of producing first-round picks.”
Don’t let the shell game fool you. The two are tied at the hip. Team Ishaq is enamored with Johnson and the delay in the decision is clearly to monitor what happens in Happy Valley. And if Team Ishaq is waiting to make a decision based on Penn State, then the Lions have to be considered the leader.