It ends up that Syracuse Orange receiver Steve Ishmael is receiving more mid-season honors than just the All-ACC team mention by ESPN this week. The senior was officially named a second team All-American by the Associated Press on Tuesday.
According to the AP, 16 voters pulled together the first- and second-team rosters based on mid-year production. James Washington (Oklahoma State) and David Sills V (West Virginia) led the first-team wideouts. Ishmael and Michael Gallup (Colorado State) made the second-team.
No other Syracuse players were included, which makes sense given their lack of representation on the all-conference list.
Stacking up Ishmael’s achievements with the others honored by AP, the Orange pass-catcher just compare pretty favorably. He’s currently third in yards per game (114.5) and barely second in receptions per game (8.9). His four touchdowns aren’t anything crazy -- but that metric is largely what sets Sills apart. The WVU junior has 12 so far this year.
Though it’s certainly nice to see the mid-year plaudits — Amba Etta-Tawo also received some last year — the most important list is the one at the end of the year. If Ishmael can find himself on the end-of-year All-American team, it would be a huge honor for him at the close of a great career. But also a major achievement for the program to have two straight All-Americans at wideout. That sort of notoriety makes the sell easier and easier for recruits.
Congrats, Steve! Looking forward to the second half of the year.