North Miami Beach (Fla.) High wide receiver Steve Ishmael continues to develop a strong relationship with Syracuse. On Tuesday, offensive coordinator George McDonald had an in-home with the three star receiver.
"McDonald really just wanted to talk to my dad," Ishmael said. "Try to juice up my dad about Syracuse. I think he did a pretty good job with that today. We just talked about when I got up there where I'm going to be living. I'll be living in the Ernie Davis Hall or something during the summer.
"Then I'll move out to the apartments. It was a pretty good deal. We talked about my brothers all that because he's pretty good friends with my brothers. It was cool."
That bond between Ishmael and McDonald is a big factor for the North Miami Beach standout.
"That gives me a lot of comfort," Ishmael said. "I know that if I were to ever get in trouble, McDonald would have my back. It's a huge upside because he's the offensive coordinator. It's like I'm playing for more than a coach. It's like I'm playing for a friend. The way he and I get alone, it's just a real cool deal.
"I really trust McDonald. It's really good, man. I feel like it's a huge upside."
McDonald also has made a strong impression on Ishmael's parents.
"My mom and dad, they like him," Ishmael said. "They can see that he's a good man and all that. He has no problem with saying that I like Syracuse. As long as they can see me go up there and see me play my first year and make it to the NFL, that's the biggest thing on his mind. And my education. My mom is pretty cool with McDonald too. She likes him and my brothers like him."
Despite his strong interest in Syracuse, Ishmael has two official visits left over the next two weeks.
"It's Cincinnati then Louisville," Ishmael said. "Cincinnati has been recruiting me a pretty long time. I'd say two weeks after Syracuse came, Cincinnati was next. What I'm looking for when I got up for the visit is just a good campus. I'm just looking for a good campus that I could see myself fitting at. I'm just looking for a good deal. It should be a good deal when I go up there.
"Same thing with Louisville. The coaching change is not that big of an issue because the coaches that went to Louisville were actually recruiting me at Western Kentucky. I'm pretty familiar with Lamar Thomas and coach Petrino. Lamar Thomas is a cool dude. It's a good deal. As of now, we're developing a better relationship."
Do either of those schools have a chance at supplanting the Orange at the top of Ishmael's list?
"Realistically, I'm not sure," Ishmael said. "It would be very hard, but it can be done. I will see it'll be really hard. The relationship that George and I have is so strong. It's been that way since my junior year of high school."