Some folks might be surprised that freshman Steve Ishmael has rocketed to the top of the Syracuse Orange wide receiver depth chart. Don't count Tim Lester and Scott Shafer among them.
They've already gotten their shock out of the way.
"I was up in the office and he was out on the field doing ladder drills by himself," Tim Lester said on Tuesday. "I didn’t even know he was out there. I was in my office doing game planning at 11:30 at night and I looked outside and I saw Ish out the little window. And I don’t know if I should say this, but I saw a DPS officer behind him and I was like ‘Oh my God, what happened to Ish?’ And the DPS officer said, listen, he wants to get in the building to shower. I just need someone to say he’s okay to be in the building. And I was like Ish, what are you doing?"
"I was like, yes, Mr. Officer, he can shower. It’s the locker room and he’s got the cleats on and everything. But the officer was doing his job. He was just making sure it was alright to open the doors to let Ish back in because he was out on the field doing extra stuff."
What a coincidence that the officer's name was Mr. Officer. Sometimes things just work out.
Scott Shafer is on Team Ishmael as well.
"I just love the hell out of the kid. He loves football. He's passionate about the way he goes to work. It's amazing that the kids who work so hard show up in the productivity side of things at the end of the game. I couldn't more proud of the way Stevie's been working at it and it's really nice to see that production during the game."
Shafer also referred to Steve as a "true gym rat" which I'm noticing is one of the highest compliments one can receive from Shafe. Only thing nicer? Hardnosed.