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Irish make great impression on Ishaq Williams

Aug 16, 2010, 12:00 PM EDT

There aren’t many recruits that have an offer list to match Brooklyn’s Ishaq Williams. The 6-foot-6, 230-pound Williams has 30-plus offers from some of college football’s best, and Williams was on campus last week during practice to get a first look at Notre Dame with his family.

According to’s Mike Farrell, the Irish are in great shape.

“Notre Dame was excellent,” Williams told Farrell. “I felt very comfortable with the team and the coaches and I learned more about their system. I spoke to Coach Diaco a lot while I was there. I also spoke to Coach Cooks and the athletic director.”

Williams had a long list of programs that he wanted to visit this summer, but his family only made two trips — Notre Dame and the defending champions Alabama.

What’d he have to say about Alabama?

“I had a great time at Alabama. Those were some of the best facilities
I’ve seen. You can tell it’s run like a professional team down there.
It’s like a football factory. When you go there you can tell they expect
to win. You can see that in all the guys on the team. I talked to the
coaches a little bit in between their team practices.”

If I’m an Irish fan, I’m feeling really good about this situation. The characterization of ‘Bama as a “football factory” might be a compliment coming from Williams, but it’s certainly not something that you’d want to put on the cover of your media guide. More importantly, if the Irish are going to reel in a premiere recruit, it’s going to be because that particular student-athlete doesn’t want to be a part of a football factory.

More importantly, the fact that Williams got to sit down with position coach Kerry Cooks, an incredibly smooth and intelligent guy can’t hurt. The fact that he sat down with defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, a dynamic personality who happens to have grown up 27 miles away from Williams, should make Irish fans even more happy.

One of the best parts of having a great foundation to your recruiting class this early in the game is that the coaching staff can start to target the elite guys still left on the recruiting board. Most people would’ve thought that the Irish had no chance with a guy like Williams even though he mentioned that he was interested, but getting Ishaq on campus this summer was critical for the Irish.

It’s far from a sure thing that Williams will end up Irish, but credit the coaching staff for doing a great job so far.

  1. Squeeze77 - Aug 16, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    Someone get to the Grotto and light a candle for this kid. As big a get on the defensive side as Manti two years ago- and so much earlier in the process. I’d love to hear how they’re doing it.

  2. RealityCheck - Aug 16, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    You can light a candle anywhere you choose and it’ll have the same exact affect on whether ‘Shaq comes here or not.

  3. mikeford - Aug 16, 2010 at 9:17 PM

    Great news once again! Just wanted to thank Keith for a great off-season, you’ve kept me busy with your blog and I’m happy to have found ya almost exactly 1 yr ago today. Keep up the greatness bud, and looking forward to Saturdays with ya!! GO IRISH!!!

  4. Joe Miller - Aug 17, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    Excellent article on Ishaq Williams!
    Your “editorial” comments on the assistant coaches in contact with Ishaq show a real “falir” for this staff “hitting all the right notes” where recruiting is concerned.
    With talents like Aaron Lynch and Burton already committed, if Ishaq eventually bocomes Irish, the defense is going to be set for years.
    As a retiree, I thoroughly enjoy recruting articles about players who could realistically be expected to eventually join the Irish.
    Keep up the good work,

  5. shaun williams - Aug 17, 2010 at 4:43 PM

    i was there on the visit w/ my son and we were extremely impressed w/ the tradition of the place and the class of the people there. we talked w/ coach kelly also and i walked away convinced that the irish will be winning a championship before his tenure is over. coach kelly is a great mentor for the young people. south bend is the bomb.

  6. jan - Aug 18, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    I trust that the coaches will make sure that the Williams family has tickets (within NCAA guidelines) to the ND-Army game in Yankee Stadium on 11/20 and possibly the ND-Navy game in the Meadowlands on 10/23. I’ve been fortunate to “grow up” in the NY Metro area and attend ND games in both “old” sites. The spirit of the subway alumni, the sportsmanship of the players, etc. epitomized all that is uniquely great about student athletes playing football and the network of people that can touch their lives for years to come.
    Meanwhile, I feel like a kid counting down the days to Christmas morning – 9/4 can’t come soon enough. Thanks for the superb articles Keith.

  7. jan - Aug 18, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    Shaun…I’m delighted to read about the impression that you gained during your visit to ND. Approximately 45 years ago my parents and I visited the campus and received the same genuine welcome and impression, even though I was a “regular” student applicant and not singled out for special VIP treatment.
    During my 4 year experience at ND, my life was touched by the actions (not just rhetoric) of individuals on and off the field and profoundly influenced decisions/choices that I have made during the rest of my life. Little things – like the Chairman of the the Chemistry Dept (Dr./Professor Emil T. Hoffman) insisting that he teach chemistry to all incoming freshman, or the President of the University (Fr. Ted Hesburgh) opening the door to his office at 11 PM to spend 20 minutes chatting with 3 frosh who decided to drop by on their way back to the dorm – speak volumes about the commitment “mentors” on and off the field (faculty, administration, clergy, and fellow students) share with the ND community.
    While I was geographically far from my NYC home while attending ND, home did not feel so very far away while I enjoyed my 4 years at ND.
    I hope that your son decides to attend ND not only for the contribution he can/may make to ND; but as well for the impact the ND community can make on his life….and the rest of his family – ask my parents and siblings.

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