Ishaq Williams Readmitted to Notre Dame

Ishaq Williams - Notre Dame DE
Photo: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Over the weekend we learned that Keivarae Russell was back with Notre Dame, but that had long been expected.  On Monday we learned that a bit more surprisingly, Ishaq Williams has reportedly also been readmitted to Notre Dame after his suspension following last summer’s academic investigation.

It has been widely expected for months that Russell would not only be back at the University, but that there was a spot on the roster waiting for him as soon as he returned.  With Williams, however, it was never clear if he even be back at Notre Dame let alone a member of the football team; and even with Monday’s news, it is still unknown whether or not Williams will be back on the Irish roster this fall.

Pete Sampson of Irish Illustrated broke the news of Williams return earlier today.

While Williams has been admitted back, it’s still unclear if he will be suiting up for the Fighting Irish this fall.  Brian Kelly has been a bit coy when discussing Williams throughout the entire process.  Any time Kelly was asked about Williams since the season ended, Kelly offered little more than vague statements about Williams having a lot of work to do in order to regain entry to the University.

For Williams, one potential hurdle could be the scholarship crunch that many have been expected although following the transfer of Everett Golson, it’s looking more and more likely that the Irish won’t be too hard pressed to get to 85.

Should Williams work his way back onto the roster, he could potentially fill the pass rushing void that Notre Dame is staring at right now even though he has just one career sack.  Prior to his suspension last year, a breakout season had been predicted for the former 5-star recruit since he would have been playing his more natural defensive end position in Brian Vangorder’s defense after trying to play outside linebacker his first three seasons.

Just how effective Williams can be after a year away from football, however, remains to be seen even if he is reinstated with the football team. Regardless of his playing status, however, it is great to see that Williams is doing all he can to make sure that he leaves Notre Dame with a degree in his hand even if his career sack total never eclipses the number of stars he was rated with coming out of high school.


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  1. No, I am not cherry picking anything. I hate banging on the kid but he simply has not produced. What really hurts him is that 5 star rating he had coming into Notre Dame. I hope Ishaq does have a breakout season if he is allowed to play. Coach D who use to be on Irishsports Daily but is now on doesnt think Ishaq is going to be allowed to play. I hope he is wrong because losing J Williams today out the blue will hurt our depth.

  2. I, too, hope Ishaq gets his shot. It appears to be up to the NCAA, and not ND, as to whether he is even eligible, due to missing a term or who knows what gobbletygook their rules’ committee references. If the NCAA consents, his potential alone, and his priority (graduation) and classy demeanor both he and his father have shown quietly accepting the two semester suspension, make me want to see ND give him his chance. I remember a guy named Frank Stams who emerged his last season as a DE and was key to the ’88 championship. I’d gladly roll the dice and see if Ishaq, finally in a position/scheme where he can maximize his potential, is given the chance to do so for his own future, and the success he can bring this year’s ‘D.

  3. You’re obviously cherry picking your stats Kenny. Williams was moved to OLB in a Diaco system that rarely blitzed, almost never blitzing from the OLB position. He was however, a two year starter, putting up 11 solo tackles, 11 more assists, and 3.5 for a loss in 2012. 2013, similar stats. These aren’t stellar numbers, and I’m not comparing the guy to Jaylon Smith…But, they are respectable. He was universally expected to be a breakout player last year. So, “not a good football player”? That’s just crazy talk. He’s a very good football player, who hasn’t been exceptional (yet?).

  4. ND still has issues getting down to 85. I think Ishaq has to prove he’s worthy of a scholarship before BK lets Ishaq keep his. Coming out of high school, that was a no-brainer. But now, who knows?

  5. The guy has 1 sack in his three or four seasons he has been here. The D Line has several young players that we need to see if they can play. I guess my standards are higher than yours because Ishaq is NOT a good football player.

  6. WTF…not a good football player? If he’s in shape, and meets academic standard in time, he’ll be starting…and an NFL draftee.

    Let me know what you’re smoking Kenny – so I can stay away from it.

  7. I know Williams has a ton of starts which is usually a positive but given how tight the scholarships are and the youth movement on the D Line maybe its better if he doesn’t play football. Kelly has to be thinking the same. Ishaq will still get his degree but he is simply not a good football player.

  8. the young man has one shot to make the big $ I hope he comes back a beast! If not, a student.


  9. Right….. Kelly cuts another player on the team to make room on the 85 player roster for Williams and then doesn’t play him.

    At this rate, I bet by the time the season kicks off you’ll have an ulcer the size of Cincinnati.

  10. Good for him. I hope he gets back on the team and does well. I’d like to think he now has a better understanding of what it means to have a Notre Dame degree. Good Luck and I hope to see him on Saturdays!

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