Ishaq Williams’ father Shaun has spoken and it may leave you wondering about the family’s priorities. Ishaq’s decision could be nearing after the UConn head coaching vacancy is filled without Tom Bradley. The elite recruit has postponed his decison since last Friday, “waiting for things to stabilize at a particular school.” The Fizz believes Ishaq is referring to the Penn State coaching staff and whether defensive coordinator Bradley would take a head coaching job elsewhere (and possibly recruiting coordinator Larry Johnson with him).
While Bradley was a candidate for the Pitt and UConn jobs, it appears both schools have gone in a different direction. Pitt hired Todd Graham, while it looks like UConn will hire former UMass head coach Mark Whipple. This is not good news for Syracuse fans. The Orange was hoping Bradley’s departure would create enough uncertainty to sway Ishaq to either SU or Notre Dame. Instead it looks like the Nittany Lion staff will remain intact.
Ishaq’s father has wondered aloud about the prospect of Joe Paterno retiring before the end of his son’s eligibilty. With Bradley and Johnson still in place at Penn State, one would imagine that concern has been allayed.
However, one quote from Papa Williams is disconcerting at best for all three programs. The now infamous “everyone is equal” assertion that’s been taken as truth by all three fanbases (which is crap), has a nugget that’s worth at least a shake of the head.
“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.”
Hopefully, all three schools are equal. That would be great for Syracuse. But don’t take Papa Williams’ word for it. There is no benefit from publicly declaring one program the leader or tipping his son’s hand. Reminder, this is the same guy who wore both a Syracuse AND Notre Dame hat the week of the All-American Bowl knowing it would create a stir.
But the hope that Ishaq becomes “a household name across America” seems a strange desire from a parent. Ishaq is an elite athlete. By all accounts – with the size, speed and abilities he possesses – Williams would be looking at NFL riches four years from now. From two college-educated parents (who both attended SU, by the way), wouldn’t the hope be for their son to play for a trustworthy coach, take advantage of an education and grow as a person on the field and off?
To aim for Ishaq to become a household name across America seems to display priorities a bit out of touch. If he’s a tremendous football player, he’ll become that naturally. Did Andrew Luck’s parents want him to choose Stanford to put him on the map? Did Jason Pierre-Paul believe USF was the best school for marketing purposes? Probably not, but their play did it anyway. Are you helping choose a positive environment for your child or a PR firm?
There are no rumblings that Ishaq is anything but a respectable young man who’s dealt with some of life’s hardships and turned them into positives. But if Ishaq’s parents have made the marketing of him a priority, I’m no longer proud they attended my alma mater.