In this installment of The Recruiting Notebook, we meet the next in a long line of tall, lean, athletic Defensive Ends at the University of Miami: Miami (FL) Columbus DE Jabari Ishmael.
At or near the top of positions the Miami Hurricanes have recruited the best over the past few years has to be Defensive End. To continue tat trend, Miami began this cycle evaluating numerous local standouts. One player that has been a known commodity to the Canes for much longer than just this year is Miami (FL) Columbus DE Jabari Ishmael.
The son of longtime Miami Strength and Conditioning assistant Victor Ishmael, Jabari has grown into a noteworthy individual in his own right. Starring at Columbus, Ishmael is one of the best edge rushers in the country, and teams all over the CFB landscape were interested in adding him to their roster.
Obviously, since his father works with the Canes program (and has for a long time), Jabari has been around the Miami program for nearly his entire life. And, the connection to Miami and familiarity with the school and program paid big dividends for the Canes in the end.
It should come as no surprise that Ishmael’s first scholarship offer came from....Miami, in the spring of his freshman year of HS. After that, many big name P5 schools joined the list, offering Ishmael scholarships and trying to get him on their roster.
If you’re thinking this is a simple case of nepotism, think again. Ishmael is a dynamic edge rusher who helped Columbus to great success over the past few seasons. Ishmael was All-Dade honorable mention as a sophomore, and 2nd Team All-Dade as a junior, helping propel Columbus to a State Championship. So yes, he has talent to stand on his own at Miami, regardless of his surname.
After his junior season, Miami turned up the recruiting heat on Ishmael. After several unofficial visits, and consideration given to other programs, namely Oregon and Michigan, Ishmael decided that Miami was the place for him and he committed to the Canes on July 17th.
On the 247sports composite, Ishmael is a 4-star prospect, the #17 WDE nationally in this class, #33 in the State of Florida, and #238 recruit overall.
Ishmael committed to Miami over Michigan, Notre Dame, Oregon, and South Carolina from a list of 19 offers from around the country.
As A Player
Like many other Defensive Ends who have played or are playing for Miami, Ishmael has great height and length to work on the edge. He’s a legit 6’6” and up to 210lbs. And, in case you missed it up top, his dad is a S&C assistant at Miami. I fully expect the younger Ishmael to add muscle and strength to his frame in the future. And if that wasn’t enough for you, just look at the physical development that Gregory Rousseau and Jaelan Phillips underwent after getting to The U. There’s no reason to believe Ishmael won’t follow that same developmental path.
Ishmael is very good on the edge, with a quick first step, and non-stop motor to chase plays down all over the field. He will need to get stronger to deal with college OTs, but that’s part of the developmental path for nearly all HS prospects.
An area where Ishmael can use development is in the run game. He’s solid but will need to get better in this area of his game to be a complete player at the Defensive End position.
I didn’t expect Ishmael to be as versatile as he shows a propensity to be on film. He can be see on both the right and left sides of the DL, as a standup rusher, as a standup rusher from the middle of the line, and as a spy/LB at the 2nd level. Miami has made a killing by moving Rousseau or Phillips (or other players before them like Chad Thomas) to the interior of the defensive line on passing downs. Once he adds a little weight, Ishmael should be the next 6’5”+ edge rusher to play that role for Miami’s defense.
For another look at Ishmael, here’s an evaluation by 247sports Southeast Recruiting Analyst Andrew Ivins:
A lean frame with the ideal length to rush off the edge. Has a terrific reach. Will need to add weight once in college. Most effective in passing situations when he’s able to get outside. Ex-basketball player that’s equipped with a nice swim move, but still learning how to outmaneuver opponents and win with leverage. Looks somewhat comfortable in space as he has gotten snaps at linebacker in high school. Man coverage however isn’t exactly a strength. Tends to play high at times. Could develop into an all-conference type player for a Power 5 school with the right coaching and attitude. NFL ceiling given measurables.
- Quickness off the edge
- Run defense
Note: changing this up from just a freshman-season outlook to a career outlook for each player.
Miami has developed numerous quick, lengthy, dynamic edge rushers in recent years. Ishmael fits the bill to be the next one in line.
Like others before him, Ishmael will probably need a season to develop physically. During that season, he could still see spot duty in pass rushing situations while he gets bigger and stronger and improves his overall technique. But, after a year or two, Ishmael should be ready to slot into the starting lineup, or at least be a heavily used rotation player on the Canes’ Defensive Line.
If he reaches or comes close to the ceiling of his immense potential, Ishmael should be a disruptive force for Miami’s defense, and All-Conference honors are definitely in the realm of possibility.
That’s it for this installment of The Recruiting Notebook.