LARAMIE, Wyo. – University of Wyoming Football added two exciting signees to its 2018 recruiting class on Saturday as Ja’lani Ellison and Raghib “Rocket” Ismail Jr. signed with the Cowboys. Ellison joins the Cowboy Football program from Reseda High School in Reseda, Calif. Ismail, a native of Carrollton, Texas, comes to Wyoming from Cisco Community College in Cisco, Texas.
“Ja’lani (Ellison) played both ways in high school as a receiver and as a corner,” said Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl. “We plan to utilize his athleticism at the cornerback position. He’s not afraid to hit. We love his speed and his ability to make game-changing plays. We believe he has the chance to develop into an outstanding player.
“Rocket (Ismail) is a young man who brings great speed and athleticism to the wide receiver position. 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.”
Raghib “Rocket” Ismail Jr. WR 6-0 180 Carrollton, Texas (Cisco C.C., Texas)
Raghib “Rocket” Ismail Jr. is a 6-0, 180-pound wide receiver, who caught 48 passes for 434 yards and scored four receiving touchdowns at Cisco College in 2017. His 48 receptions ranked him No. 21 in the nation among all junior college players in ’17. Ismail also ranked No. 29 in the country in receiving yards, averaging 62.0 yards per game. He added two kickoff returns for 40 yards and three punt returns for 12 yards for a total of 486 all-purpose yards. Ismail was part of a Wrangler offense that ranked No. 18 in the nation in passing offense (235.3 yards per game), No. 22 in the NJCAA in total offense (392.3 yards per game) and No. 23 in scoring offense (34.1 points per game). He played for head coach Russell Thompson at Cisco College.
Ismail played one season at Cisco College after originally attending TCU where he was a member of the Horned Frog Football team.
Ismail is from Carrollton, Texas, and played his high school football at Ranchview High School. His senior season, he helped lead Ranchview to a 9-3 overall record and a 4-1 district record. Ranchview advanced to the second round of the 2014 Texas Class 4A District 1 State Playoffs. Ismail played for head coach Terry Smith at Ranchview High.
He was ranked as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com coming out of high school and was recruited by and offered by Nevada.
He is the son of Raghib “Rocket” Ismail, who finished second in the 1990 Heisman Trophy balloting while playing at the University of Notre Dame.
Ja’lani Ellison CB 6-0 160 Reseda, Calif. (Reseda)
Ja’lani Ellison was an outstanding defensive back, wide receiver and kick returner at Reseda High School in Reseda, Calif. Ellison is rated by 247Sports.com as a three-star recruit. 247Sports.com ranks Ellison as the 209th overall prospect in the talent-rich state of California in 2018. 247Sports also ranked Ellison as the 117th player in the state of California at the “Athlete” position. As a junior, he was named a 2016 Second Team Junior All-America cornerback by MaxPreps and led the state of California with 15 interceptions.
Ellison was an explosive playmaker throughout his high school career, intercepting 23 passes over his three-year varsity career, accounting for 4,382 all-purpose yards and scoring a combined 48 career touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams. He also accounted for 54 total tackles (35 solo tackles and 19 assists). His 4,382 all-purpose yards included 1,810 receiving yards, 902 rushing, 637 punt return yards, 620 kickoff return yards and 413 interception return yards.
His senior season of 2017, he intercepted seven passes, returning those interceptions for 176 yards and two touchdowns. He broke up seven other passes and scored a defensive touchdown on a fumble return. Ellison made 27 tackles, including 22 solo tackles. On offense, he caught 30 passes for 681 yards and had 10 receiving touchdowns, while gaining 304 yards rushing on 29 attempts and scored nine rushing TDs. He also returned five kickoffs for 341 yards and three TDs and had one punt return for 88 yards and a touchdown. He scored a total of 26 touchdowns as a senior and accounted for 1,590 all-purpose yards for an average of 132.5 yards per game. He helped lead Reseda High to a 10-2 overall record and a 5-1 record in the Valley Mission Conference to finish second. Reseda entered the 2017 CIF Los Angeles City Section Division II Playoffs as the No. 3 seed and advanced to the Quarterfinals, defeating Franklin, 62-21, in the First Round before losing to Granada Hills Charter, 13-16, in the Quarterfinals.
His junior season, Ellison was named to the 2016 MaxPreps Junior All-America Second Team as a cornerback. He intercepted an amazing 15 passes as a junior, which led the state of California. He returned those interceptions for 217 yards and scored four touchdowns on interception returns. Ellison broke up 10 other passes and was credited with 20 tackles, including 5.0 tackles for loss. He caught 36 passes for 680 yards and scored nine receiving touchdowns. He added 419 rushing yards on 37 attempts and scored six rushing TDs. As a junior, he returned seven kickoffs for 249 yards and one touchdown and returned 20 punts for 549 yards. He accounted for 2,114 all-purpose yards as a junior, averaging 151.0 yards per game and scored a combined 20 touchdowns. He played for head coach Alonso Arreola.
Ellison was also recruited by Utah State.
The signing period for NCAA FBS football programs runs through April 1, 2018.