The summer is a time to relax. Go to the beach, barbecue, or take a vacation.
Ishaq Williams won’t be doing any of those things. He’ll travel, but it will be all business. The Lincoln standout defensive end will be spending the next two months visiting as many prospective colleges as possible.
“I’m gonna look for a place where I’m comfortable, a place that has good academics, a place I can get to the next level, and has a good environment,” he said.
Considered the top prospect in New York State by several scouting services and a four-star prospect by Scout.com, Williams certainly has his pick. He has received 28 BCS scholarship offers. The who’s who of elite Division I programs includes USC, UCLA, Stanford, Penn State, Syracuse, Maryland, Rutgers, Alabama, Miami, Notre Dame, Texas Tech and Florida.
“I’m looking forward to it because I know it’s a necessary part of the recruiting process,” said the 6-foot-5, 225-pound rising senior who has already qualified academically for college and will graduate from Lincoln in January. “I’m looking forward to narrowing it down.”
Williams, a 17-year-old Clinton Hill native, has already visited Penn State, Syracuse (his parents’ alma mater), Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Maryland, and Miami. He plans to visit Notre Dame on Aug. 5, his father Shaun said; take a trip down south to see Alabama, Florida, and Miami again the second week of August; and go out west for USC, UCLA, and Stanford the following week.
As for any favorites, Williams said he doesn’t have any. He was supposed to visit Virginia on Friday, but Shaun said that trip has been cancelled. His son has spoken with several head coaches extensively, including Joe Paterno, Penn State’s legendary coach, Alabama’s Nick Saban, and USC’s Lane Kiffin.
“They all have been good conversations,” said Williams, an All-City first team selection by The Post, who had 43 tackles, 11 sacks, and three forced fumbles.
An assistant coach involved in Williams’ recruitment is hardly surprised by the amount of interest he has generated. While the coach said Williams needs to gain a significant amount of muscle to succeed at a high level in college, there is plenty to like about him.
“He’s so quick and explosive,” the coach said. “He has a great first step.”
Shaun said his son will narrow his list down to five by the end of the summer and will make all five of his official visits before committing sometime in December. The defensive dynamo will either commit during the US Army All-American game, set for the first week of January 2011, or at a press conference at Lincoln beforehand.
He could commit even sooner, but hasn’t put a timetable on a decision.
“I’m not sure,” Williams said. “When I feel comfortable.”