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Lincoln All-American sets officials as decision nears

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Lincoln quarterback Andrew Vital said Ishaq Williams’ game-turning 56-yard touchdown reception, when he turned a simple 10-yard hitch route into six points, was a “college play” it was so impressive.

The question is what college will the All-American defensive end/tight end be making those plays at next year?

With a little more than a month before New York State’s top prospect is slated to decide — he plans to commit during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas on Jan. 8 — the 6-foot-6, 230-pound senior set his official visits: USC, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Penn State.

“The officials are very important,” Williams said after helping No. 1 Lincoln remain undefeated and top fourth-seeded Campus Magnet, 22-14, Saturday afternoon in the PSAL City Championship division semifinals, booking the Coney Island school’s first title game appearance since 1993. “I feel like when I got to the school and I get that feeling, I’ll know. I don’t know how to explain it, but I’ll feel comfortable with that school.”

He will visit Notre Dame on Dec. 8, the day after the title game at the new Yankee Stadium, go to Syracuse — his parents’ alma mater — Dec. 11, go to Penn State two days later and fly to USC on Dec. 18. Ishaq’s father, Shaun, said the family is looking into a fifth official visit, at either Miami or Alabama.

Williams recently told this paper he had a top five of Notre Dame, Syracuse, Penn State, USC and Alabama, but now extended that list to six with Miami reentering the picture. The Crimson Tide, Shaun said, has “drifted a little bit in terms of culture, in terms of proximity away from home.”

Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone will visit Lincoln on Monday and have an in-home visit with the Williamses that night in their Bed Stuy home. No other home visits have been scheduled yet. Syracuse is one of the three favorites now, Ishaq said, along with Penn State and Notre Dame because they have been around the most.

“They are pretty much on top, but the other schools are still involved,” he said.

As for him possibly leaning toward any school, Williams said: “I don’t know where I’m going yet.”

All the schools recruiting Williams, he said, have given him the option to play on either side of the ball, though Penn State has made it clear they like his potential at tight end. Williams has spoken several times with tight ends coach Bill Kenney. Williams, however, doesn’t have a preference.

“I just want to make plays, I want to be able to help my team win,” he said. “I like making plays, it doesn’t matter if I’m on offense or defense.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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