Bay Area lineman Keith Ismael has San Jose State Spartans among top schools

6-foot-4 and 300-pound offensive lineman Keith Ismael is focused on four schools.

San Francisco Sacred Heart Cathedral offensive lineman Keith Ismael holds 10 offers and he has now narrowed his focus onto four primary schools - and San Jose State has made the cut.

“I have a really good relationship with the staff and they’ve done a good job developing that over the time they’ve been recruiting me,” Ismael said. “I had a good experience going there and (unofficially) visiting. I like the environment and the team. I think they are heading in the right direction. I think they are really good people. They showed my family and I a lot of respect and love. They are up there at the top. I don’t have an order but they’ve done a good job to be high on the list.”

Along with San Jose State, the other schools in consideration include Hawaii, San Diego State and Boise State. Ismael also had high interest in Utah State and Colorado State, but talks had quieted with those schools. CSU recently came back into the picture, though his visits are already set.

Ismael officially visited Hawaii last weekend. He will visit San Diego State and Boise State respectively in the two remaining weeks. Ismael won’t be officially visiting SJSU, but that’s only because he has such a good feel for the school already compared to the others in his top four.

“I have visited San Jose State twice and I had a home-visit with coach Stenavich and Ferrigno,” Ismael said. “I just felt like I’ve got enough to base a decision off of them and I needed to take my officials to schools that were further away that I haven’t seen.”

The Bay Area o-lineman hears from SJSU on a weekly basis, but he also gets “recruited” by a close friend. Jamar Williams-Sheppard, running back who is also from San Francisco Sacred Heart Cathedral, is currently committed to the Spartans and is doing his part to convince his high school teammate to join him.

“It’s played a little bit of a role, of course,” Ismael said. “Our families are close and we’ve known each other since seventh or eighth grade. We talk about it, but I have to take my visits and see what’s best for me.”

Last weekend, Ismael visited Hawaii. His previous recruiter was retained by the new UH staff and the new head coach, Nick Rolovich, has made a quick impression on him being a San Francisco City College alumni.

“He called me the day after he was hired to make sure I knew I still had an offer,” Ismael said. “He’s a San Francisco guy. He went to (San Francisco) City College and so did my head coach. They have a really good relationship so there’s a really good connection there. That showed a lot to me and I was really appreciative of that. I’ve heard nothing but good things about him and with him being a city guy, everyone knows him so they’ve all given me good input on him.”

He also has family in San Diego and Idaho, where he will take official visits to over the next two weeks.

“I have family in San Diego,” Ismael said. “They’ve done a really good job in recruiting and creating a good relationship with me. They come up and visit me a lot and are staying in constant contact to let me know my status with them. If I work hard enough, I could play pretty quick because there are some offensive line spots open. They said I could possibly earn a starting spot as a freshman if I work hard enough.

“Boise State, they’ve come into the picture recently, but they have a strong program and a great fanbase. I have some family in Idaho so I know their program. They are very good and it’s a good school. They are new, but I’m excited to see the program and what they have to offer.”

The Broncos are yet to offer.

Ismael wants to take all of his visits before announcing a decision, although he does not necessarily plan to wait to announce on National Signing Day.


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