Data Scout Notes: 2015: Ineligible for 2015...2014: Academics, Suspended for 2014...2013: NA...2012: NA/ABT
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08/31/15 - Notre Dame DL loses eligibility appeal...The NCAA denied an appeal by Notre Dame defensive lineman Ishaq Williams, who was suspended last season as part of an academic fraud case but was seeking permission to play this season. Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly confirmed the ruling Thursday. He hoped that Williams would be eligible. Williams and cornerback KeiVarae Russell were two of five players originally suspended last year by the university. Safety Eilar Hardy was the only one of the five to play last year for Notre Dame, but he since transferred to Bowling Green.
Williams and Russell were formally readmitted by Notre Dame for the spring semester, but Williams did not enroll in school, leading to the NCAA rejecting his appeal for eligibility this year. Meanwhile, Russell did return to Notre Dame and attended classes in the spring before re-enrolling in late May. That led to Russell regaining his eligibility from the NCAA. Before being forced to sit out last year, Williams played in 24 games for the Irish the two previous seasons. He was expected to be a starter last year and likely would have been part of the defensive line rotation this year. Williams has returned to school and is on track for his degree, but he isn't allowed to practice with the team this fall. - The Sports Xchange
06/11/15 - Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly says defensive end Ishaq Williams still has some NCAA hurdles to clear before he is able to play for the Fighting Irish. Williams was dismissed from Notre Dame last fall after being investigated for possible academic dishonesty and still has NCAA hurdles to clear before officially rejoining the team. "I know he's back in school because he told me, he's in workouts because I've seen him," Kelly said before a Football 101 event hosted by The Kelly Cares Foundation, a charity founded by the Fighting Irish coach and his wife, Paqui. "Those two things I know for sure. All the other stuff is NCAA eligibility stuff that is a lot more complicated. It has to do with missed terms and hours and appeals and things like that. A lot more complicated."
Senior cornerback KeiVarae Russell was dismissed from school along with Williams, but is expected to return to the team this season. While Russell attended spring classes back home in Washington during his time away, Williams did not, apparently adding to the questions surrounding his status with the NCAA. Kelly says Williams remains on scholarship, but if he is ultimately ruled ineligible by the NCAA, it would not count toward the maximum 85 scholarships allowed. "(Williams) knows there's a hill to climb there," Kelly said. "I'm not here to paint any pictures, that it's this chance or that chance. All I know is, he's going to be back in school and he's going to get his degree from Notre Dame. If he plays football, we'll be ecstatic for him. But the bottom line is, he's going to get his degree from Notre Dame." - AP Sports
06/01/15 - Defensive lineman Ishaq Williams has been reinstated by Notre Dame, clearing a significant hurdle in his quest to return to the football field. Still, Williams' father recently told Irish Illustrated's Pete Sampson that a return to the Notre Dame football team remained up in the air. Williams is a former five-star recruit from Brooklyn, N.Y., who was heavily recruited by in-state Syracuse before he opted to attend Notre Dame. He was the top-ranked player in New York as a senior, played sparingly as a freshman in South Bend and recorded 45 tackles (six for loss), one forced fumble and no sacks through three years. He was in line for significant reps last year until an academic fraud investigation derailed it. - Nate Mink, Syracuse.com
07/24/14 - Other Notre Dame prospects to watch in 2014: OLB/DE Ishaq Williams...A limited but dependable contributor thus far with only one start in 35 career games due to a surplus of defensive studs in South Bend in recent years. Williams is big, athletic, flashes natural ability as a rusher, and possesses impressive movement skills for his size. He makes the move to 4-3 DE from OLB now, and with the starting spot his for the taking, can he be disruptive enough as a senior to show up on the radar of NFL scouts? - Derek Stephens, NFLDraftScout.com
07/22/12 - 2012 ALL-BREAKTHROUGH TEAM, DEFENSE: End - Ishaq Williams, Notre Dame...Of the three blue-chip defensive ends that headlined Notre Dame's 2011 recruiting class, Williams was arguably the most hyped, and easily the least productive as a freshman: Where classmates Aaron Lynch and Stephon Tuitt immediately worked their way into the regular rotation – and, in Lynch's case, onto a few postseason awards lists – Ishaq collected just six tackles in spot duty, prompting a postseason retreat to his home in Brooklyn, N.Y., to reconsider his future. By April, though, it was Lynch who had decided to transfer, taking his talents to South Florida, and Williams who was beginning to look like the up-and-comer after recommitting himself to the Irishover the winter. The latter spent much of spring practice filling in for injured senior Prince Shembo at "Cat" (the hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker position in Notre Dame's 3-4 scheme), finishing with an interception and a fumble recovery in the spring game and likely playing his way into a starting role opposite Shembo in the process. - Matt Hinton, CBSSports.com