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Ishaq Williams makes 21 for Irish recruiting


Lincoln’s defence player Ishaq Willians tries to block Grand Street’s quarterback Christian Pena by Denis Gostev

Denis Gostev

Brian Kelly came to Notre Dame promising to win in November. It turns out he’s pretty good in December and January, too.

Prized recruit Ishaq Williams became the latest victory for Kelly and his dogged coaching staff, with the blue-chipper from Brooklyn pledging his commitment to Notre Dame this morning, just days before he’s set to enroll for the spring semester. And thanks to some nifty reporting by Irish Illustrated’s Pete Sampson, we learn another tidbit of just how far this coaching staff will go to make a difference.

With the temperature hovering in the mid-teens, defensive coordinator Bob Diaco was in the Williams house at 4:30 this morning, with an in-home visit that secured the pledge of a 6-foot-6, 240-pound linebacker that’s almost a prototype ‘Cat’ in Diaco’s 3-4 system. The commitment came after a week where Williams vacillated between Penn State and the Irish, while also giving real consideration to Syracuse.

Williams is the 12th defensive commitment to the Irish and the seventh that is projected to play in the front-seven of the defense, a critical need for this Irish roster coming into this recruiting cycle. Walking into New York City and pulling out a national recruit that had offers from coast to coast and from virtually every power conference is something nobody thought could happen when the Irish started recruiting Williams, but defensive coordinator Bob Diaco showed that his ability in the living room matches the tenacity he brought to the Irish defense.

“The whole idea of how confidently coach Diaco talks about Notre Dame winning a national championship in the next few years, he just felt he had to buy in,” father Shaun Williams told Irish Illustrated.

The weekend is far from over for the Irish, with prized defensive end Aaron Lynch on campus this for an incredibly important visit and running back Amir Carlisle likely making his decision before the week is out.

It’s hard to find a better week for the Irish than this one. With Michael Floyd’s commitment to return for his senior season, Lynch’s decommitment from Florida State and visit to South Bend, Nick Martin joining his brother Zack along the offensive line, and the procurement of Williams, it’s clear the momentum the Irish took from a 4-0 close of the season is paying dividends on the recruiting trail.