One day after returning from an official visit to Cincinnati, Syracuse target Steve Ishmael was back at North Miami Beach High School. As he left his Spanish class on Monday morning, he reached into his book bag and popped on a hat from the leader in the clubhouse.

It was an orange and blue winter hat with an orange "S."

With just one scheduled official visit left on his calendar, the Orange remain the top option for Ishmael, one of SU's most important targets as signing day approaches.

"They're my No. 1 school right now," Ishmael said multiple times over the course of the day when asked by teachers, classmates and a syracuse.com reporter.

Even better news for the Orange: Ishmael constantly referred to Syracuse as "we" on Monday, and his teachers peppered him with Syracuse trivia.

Ishmael intends to visit Louisville this weekend and hasn't decided if he will take his last official visit. He has already gone to Illinois, Syracuse and Cincinnati, and the Orange are in the lead. Ishmael said he may commit to Syracuse after next weekend if his mind is made up, or he could allow the process to linger into national signing day.

A three-star wide receiver according to all of the major recruiting websites, Ishmael received offers from programs such as Oregon, West Virginia, Tennessee and Miami, and he had an invitation to attend a prospects camp at Alabama.

His commitment would help the Orange upgrade a wide receiving unit that was one of the team's glaring weaknesses, and it would cement Syracuse as a force in South Florida recruiting, the home turf of offensive coordinator George McDonald.

As he has for most of the year, Ishmael said Syracuse's coaching staff was the difference. Syracuse offensive coordinator George McDonald is close friends with Ishmael's high school coach, Jeff Bertani, and Ishmael also likes Scott Shafer's no-pretenses approach.

"The trip to Cincinnati, the players were great," Ishmael said. "Within hours it was like we were brothers. But the Syracuse coaches, I just feel more of a connection. You don't see many coaches where there is no ego. Whenever I see Coach Shafer he's like, 'Steve, we really need you here,' and the others it's like, 'Hello, Steve.'"