Steve Ishmael, the nation’s leading receiver, plays in front of his parents for the 1st time in college

first_img Published on October 21, 2017 at 10:37 pm Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21 Ishmael injured his hip in the first half, leaving the game for a spell before eventually returning. He was targeted 10 times, finishing with four catches and 41 yards. Despite his lowest totals of the year, Ishmael is Syracuse’s active leader among offensive players with 26 career starts. He ranks ninth in SU history in catches and second on the ACC’s active career receiving yardage list. Through eight games this season, he already has more catches and receiving yards than he has had in any of his previous three.After the game, Ishmael said it was “really good, great,” to play in front of his family, although he would have liked to win for them.Ishmael will get another chance. His mother, Darlene, whom he calls “all of the time,” plans to visit the Carrier Dome before the season ends. She has two chances, Nov. 11 against Wake Forest and Nov. 25 against Boston College. His father, Blessed, who said he attended every single one of Ishmael’s games in high school and watches all of his SU games on TV, will join her.Rocky, Ishmael’s 23-year-old brother, said he received a call last week. It was Ishmael, surprising him with a ticket to the game. Rocky called it “a blessing” to see his younger brother on the field, in person. He smiled when Steve grabbed a first-down reception.The family sat in section 122, row 22. His father wore an orange Syracuse polo and an Atlanta Falcons hat for Steve’s older brother, Kemal, a safety for the Falcons. When Kemal was shown on the stadium video board, Ishmael’s father smiled and pointed to the screen at his son.One of Steve’s brothers, Andre, drove from Orlando to see his brother play. As Ishmael jogged out to the field in the first half, Andre looked back to more than a decade ago. He recalled playing football in front of the family home in North Miami, about five miles from Hard Rock Stadium. He recalled Steve, all of 8 or 9 years old, competing with kids sometimes 10 years older than him. Miami Hurricanes Malek Young defends Ishmael. Photo courtesy of the Miami Herald“He never backed down,” Andre said. “You knew he was going to be special. He had a focus, and he stuck to it.”Ishmael adored Marvin Harrison, an all-time SU great and wide receiver who finished his NFL career ranked ninth in career receiving yards. While Ishmael has not broken as many records as Harrison, he has vaulted himself into being one of the best receivers in SU history, a category he can share with Harrison.Facing a third down in the first quarter, Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey slung a ball across the middle to Ishmael. He caught it for a 12-yard gain and first down. Steve’s father, Blessed, jolted up from his seat. He pumped his fist, his eyes beaming.“Yeah,” he said. “That’s my son.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ MIAMI — In a Hard Rock Stadium parking lot, Steve Ishmael huddled with the people who got him to this point. An hour after the game, he took pictures with his mother and father, who saw him play in person for the first time since he was a senior at nearby North Miami Beach (Florida) High School. With headphones sitting on his shoulders outside of the players’ tunnel, Ishmael flashed a wide smile and posed with his parents, his two sisters, his nieces, a family friend and his high school receivers coach.About 15 family members from the Miami area supported Ishmael on Saturday afternoon in Syracuse’s (4-4, 2-2 Atlantic Coast) 27-19 loss to the No. 8 Hurricanes (6-0, 4-0). They all came to watch Syracuse University’s senior wide receiver and top target, who entered Saturday with the most catches in college football. They came to cheer him on, which they had not done in person since 2013 at North Miami Beach. Bullet Charlot, his high school receivers coach, called it Ishmael’s homecoming.“I’m so happy just to know my son is doing so great,” Darlene, Ishmael’s mother, said Saturday afternoon during the first quarter.last_img

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