Over the summer, The Juice Online will be featuring players on the 2017 Syracuse football team as we countdown to kickoff. Today, The Juice Online looks at senior wide receiver Steve Ishmael.
In 2016, Syracuse wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo came from obscurity to become one of the best receivers in the ACC.
He finished the season with 94 catches for 1,482 yards and 14 touchdowns, playing nearly every snap at outside receiver.
With that production gone, Steve Ishmael figures to step into the role of SU’s primary deep threat, especially with a full year of being in Babers’ uptempo offense.
“Last year was new. It was a little shaky adjusting to it,” Ismael said during spring practice. “The mindset this year is a lot different. This year, we’re a lot more confident.”
Ishmael was largely overlooked in his first season in Babers’ offense with the emergence of Etta-Tawo and Erv Phillips. But after a season in which he finished third on the team in receiving yards (559), he is poised for a breakout year in his fourth season at the Hill.
Athlon Sports recently named Ishmael to the Preseason All-ACC Fourth Team.
While the honor is nice, Ishmael’s goal is to help the team accomplish something they haven’t done in three seasons: The postseason.
“Being over here, we’ve never experienced a bowl game,” Ishmael said. “We want to leave this senior year with a bang.”
Inside slant: There’s no reason to think that Ishmael won’t be among the ACC’s leader in receiving yards, if Etta-Tawo’s 2016 season is any indication. Ishmael has the best hands on the team, runs excellent routes and is a dedicated blocker.
- Birthdate: July 1995
- Hometown: Miami, Fla.
- High School: North Miami Beach
- Position: Wide Receiver
- Class: Senior
- Height: 6’2″
- Weight: 209 lbs
Career highlights: In his sophomore season, Ismael led SU in receptions (39), receiving yards (570) and touchdown catches (7). In his junior year, he was third on the team in receiving yards (559) and receiving yards per game (50.8).