Ishmael signs with CMSU
When searching for the right college to play football at, BLHS senior lineman Justin Ishmael said the most important thing was finding the place that best suited his needs.
A week ago, Ishmael decided that place would be Central Missouri State University, but it wasn't until the night before his signing that he realized his high school and his new college were mirror images.
"CMSU is a great, great program and they've really built themselves up over the past few seasons," Ishmael said. "It really is kind of like what we had here and I'm excited to be a part of it."
Wednesday, Feb. 6, Ishmael made his commitment to CMSU official, when he signed a national letter of intent to become a Mule and attend the Division II school in front of 35 friends, teammates and family members.
For Ishmael, the signing signified the end of a long and exciting recruiting process.
"It was a lot of fun," Justin said. "But I'm kind of glad it's all over. It was neat coming home and seeing what I got in the mail that day, but now I can commit myself to one school and I can really start wearing their colors."
Those colors are the red and black of CMSU, and like his son, Spencer Ishmael is also excited about wearing the Mules' colors.
"I think I'm going to go down Thursday and get a sweatshirt and a hat," Spencer said.
While he would've liked to play football at the Division-I level, the 6-foot-3, 265-pound offensive lineman, said the real decision for him came down to what was the best fit. Because of its size and its communications program, CMSU turned out to be the best place for Ishmael.
His high school coach, Paul Brown, whose son David is an offensive position coach at CMSU, said he thought Ishmael and the Mules were a perfect match.
"It's great when a young kid gets to realize his dreams," Brown said. "I'm happy for Justin because I think it's a great fit for him. And I'm happy for my son because I think they're getting a heck of a football player."