North Miami Beach (F.L.) High wide receiver Steve Ishmael has been one of Syracuse's top offensive targets ever since George McDonald took over as offensive coordinator. The 6-foot-3 prospect did all he could in his first game of his senior year, but his 90 receiving yards and two touchdowns weren't enough to pull out a victory.
"The game went well but it wasn't one of our best performances," Ishmael said. "We've already moved past it. Now we're just getting ready for our next opponent."
In order to help have such a strong performance in week one, the three star talent worked hard in the offseason to improve his game.
"I've been working on the little things," Ishmael said. "Coming off the ball a little quicker and just looking in the ball. I've been working on jumping and catching the ball at the highest point."
Still early in the process for Ishmael, he says three schools are standing out. He plans on taking official visits to each, but not anytime soon.
Coach McDonald's relationship with Ishmael goes back to his previous coaching stops. The two were in touch recently via social media.
"The last time they were in touch with me was last month," Ishmael said. "He just hit me up on Facebook. He was talking about how he's going to do his best for his season and I'm going to the best for my season. Just to go out there and play like I always play and have a good season."
The Syracuse coaches haven't been the only ones trying to steer Ishmael towards the Orange.
"The last guy I had that did that was A.J. Long," Ishmael said. "He was telling me that we could be the future of the team. By the time we come, we could probably play our freshmen year. He was just telling me that we could be a big impact for the next four years we're at college."
Similar to Ishmael's season opener, Syracuse's was a disappointment. Despite the lack of offense for the Orange, Ishmael saw some thing that made him feel he could be successful within McDonald's system.
"Yes I did see the game," Ishmael said. "I was looking at the offensive play calling. They're a real good team and I like everything about them right now. I saw a lot of plays where the quarterback threw the ball after three seconds. I felt like I could get open in that time. I felt like I could help the team out on that. Not just that but over the top too."
Ishmael added that since he won't be taking his officials until after the season, he will not be making a decision until then either. He plans on visiting the three schools standing out, with Arkansas also possibly receiving an official from the talented receiver.