Son of Notre Dame, NFL Legend Rocket Ishmail Slated to Join Wyoming for 2018 College Football Season

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Photo courtesy HUDL

IRVING, Texas — From Carrolton to nearly Fort Worth to Irving, Raghib “Rocket” Ismail, Jr.’s road to NCAA Division I football has been unorthodox.

The University of Wyoming welcomed the former Carrolton Ranchview High School star to the Cowboy family late Saturday morning.

Ismail Jr. originally committed to Texas Christian University after four years at Carrolton Ranchview High School. He helped the Wolves finish 9-3 overall and 4-1 in District 6-4A Division — second place behind state championship runner-up Argyle.

Carrolton Ranchview reached the area round during his 2014 senior season. The two-star North Texas product was expected to become a talented piece of the Horned Frog offense, but transferred to Cisco Junior College. He caught 48 passes for 434 yards and scored four touchdowns at Cisco.

He, however, will finish his career as a Cowboy.

“Rocket [Jr.] is a young man who brings great speed and athleticism to the wide receiver position,” Wyoming coach Craig Bohl said in a recent statement. “He does a lot after the catch with the ball in his hands. He catches the ball extremely well, catches it away from his body, and will bring great value to the wide receiver room.”


The elder Rocket, one of the most exciting memorable athletes in Notre Dame history. During the final two seasons in South Bend, Indiana, he returned a trio kicks and a punt for a score and gained 2,580 yards from scrimmage as a combo running back-receiver.

Ismail, Sr. also finished second to Brigahm Young University quarterback Ty Detmer in the 1990 Heisman Trophy standings. He began his career in the CFL, but played nine years in the NFL with the Raiders, Panthers and Cowboys.

His son continued the unconventional history of the football business, jumping from high school to junior college to DI football. Wyoming finished 8-5 overall and 5-3 in the Mountain West Conference. Those included key victories against Central Michigan and Texas State.

Ismail, Jr.’s speed may give potential top-three NFL Draft pick Josh Allen’s successor a 1,000-yard wideout. Sophomore Conway Austin (549) and junior C.J. Johnson (531) led Wyoming in receiving yards. The remaining 14 pass catchers with at least one reception combined for 1,206 yards.

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