After capping off his Syracuse Orange football career with a record-breaking effort and some conference receiver of the week honors too, Steve Ishmael finds himself named first-team All-ACC on Monday. He had the fourth-most votes of any player on the first team.
The senior had 105 catches this year, for 1,347 yards plus seven touchdowns. The catch mark was the best in Syracuse history, while the yardage was the second-highest at SU. Those numbers also led him to owning the second-highest career catch total ever (219), and the Orange career receiving yardage record (2,891) as well.
Nationally, he was third in receiving yards and second in receptions. He led the ACC in both of those categories, and also finished tied for fifth in touchdown grabs in the conference.
Ishmael’s accomplishment here is a big one for him, a favorite among the Orange faithful these past four years. And it’s also a nice honor for the program, given the typically low expectations from the league’s assembled media before the season starts. Zero Syracuse players received an All-ACC selection prior to 2017 (though they only list a first-team in July).
Amba Etta-Tawo was the only Orange player to make the first-team at the end of last season, making Dino Babers two-for-two on getting receivers all-conference nods.
After getting snubbed last season, wide receiver Ervin Philips finds himself on the second-team, as does linebacker Parris Bennett. Cole Murphy also found his way onto the third-team.
Philips set a new career-high with 904 yards this year on 89 catches (one short of last year’s mark), and was among the top-10 pass catchers in the country. The senior also set the new Orange career receptions mark. Bennett had 115 tackles, which was a career-high. Murphy ended up setting career and single-season marks for field goals after going 20-of-27 in 2017.
Zaire Franklin was the only Syracuse player to end up on the honorable mentions list — which is probably fine, though I’d have assumed Eric Dungey would have gotten a vote or two given his play through the first nine games.
How do you feel about the list? It’s a great honor for Ishmael to not only make the first-team but be one of the league’s top vote-getters. And recognition for seniors like Philips, Bennett and Murphy (as well as Franklin) is always appreciated. Congrats to all of the Orange players included.