Raghib "Rocket" Ismail

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  • Retired from the Dallas Cowboys in 2003; Former NFL Los Angeles Raider
  • Named #75 in Top 100 Greatest College Football Players of All-Time in 2004

Raghib “Rocket” Ismail, a professional football player, was born in Elizabeth, NJ. During his junior high days, he and his two brothers were sent to live with their grandmother in Wilkes-Barre, PA after the death of their father. When Raghib was a sophomore in high school, he became a local hero. Football coach Mike Namey said, “He captivated people because he was an art form on the field. People came from all around to see him”. Raghib was so fleet footed, his high school coach used to call him Rocket, instead of Raghib, hence becoming his nickname since.  His success in high school caught the attention of the legendary Coach Lou Holtz, which eventually led him to the prestigious University of Notre Dame. While playing at Notre Dame he was one of the most electrifying players in school history.

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Raghib Rocket Ismail, a professional football player, was born in Elizabeth, NJ. During his junior high days, he and his two brothers were sent to live with their grandmother in Wilkes-Barre, PA after the death of their father. When Raghib was a sophomore in high school, he became a local hero. Football coach Mike Namey said, He captivated people because he was an art form on the field. People came from all around to see him. Raghib was so fleet footed, his high school coach used to call him Rocket, instead of Raghib, hence becoming his nickname since.  His success in high school caught the attention of the legendary Coach Lou Holtz, which eventually led him to the prestigious University of Notre Dame. While playing at Notre Dame he was one of the most electrifying players in school history. He averaged 61.8 yards per touchdown and became the first player to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in two separate games, which landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated. In 1991 he was named College Football Player of the Year by The Walter Camp Foundation and finished as the runner up in the Heisman Trophy balloting. In his junior year, he returned a punt to seal the win for Notre Dame, however the play was called back on a controversial clipping call. This famous play would later go down in history as one of The 100 greatest plays in college football, and get him inducted into The Orange Bowl Hall of Fame in 2003. In his junior year, Rocket left Notre Dame early to enter the NFL draft.  He was projected as the first round pick for the Dallas Cowboys, but decided instead to sign the largest ever multimillion dollar deal with the Toronto Argonauts, which landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated, for a second time. In his first year with The Argonauts, he amassed almost 3000 total yards and led them to The Grey Cup along with being nominated the game MVP. In keeping with a promise he made to his mother, Rocket went back to Notre Dame during the off season and earned his degree in American Studies. Two years later he joined, The Oakland Raiders, and led the AFC in kick returns in his first year. He played with The Oakland Paiders for three years before being traded to the Carolina Panthers, where he broke the single season reception and receiving record in 1999 which opened the door to signing a blockbuster deal, with Americas Team, The Dallas Cowboys. His debut with the Cowboys was the best game of his career-eight catches, 149 yards and a 76 yard overtime touchdown run against the Cowboys nemesis, The Washington Redskins. He ended his first season with over 1000 yards receiving. He went on to play three seasons with the Cowboys before suffering a neck injury that led to his retirement from The Dallas Cowboys in 2003.

Rocket Ismail has frequently appeared on ESPN "College Game Day."

Ismail was also a contestant on Ty Murray’s Celebrity Bull Riding Challenge on CMT.

In February 2008, Ismail appeared as a Pro in the third season of Spike TV's Pros Vs Joes.

On March 2010, it was announced that Ismail would be a correspondent on Ty Murray's Celebrity Bull Riding Challenge, interviewing the contestants about their lives outside of the competition.

Rocket was also a celebrity coach in the extreme sports league Slamball.

Rocket was also co-host with Nate Newton on Cowboys Game Night on Fox Television.

Rocket is currently a personality on The Dallas Cowboys post game on The Fan 105.3

Rocket has recently been nominated to be a member of the class of 2012 College Football Hall of Fame. He was projected as the first round pick for the Dallas Cowboys, but decided instead to sign the largest ever multimillion dollar deal with the Toronto Argonauts, which landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated, for a second time. In his first year with The Argonauts, he amassed almost 3000 total yards and led them to The Grey Cup along with being nominated the game MVP. In keeping with a promise he made to his mother, Rocket went back to Notre Dame during the off season and earned his degree in American Studies. Two years later he joined, The Oakland Raiders, and led the AFC in kick returns in his first year. He played with The Oakland Paiders for three years before being traded to the Carolina Panthers, where he broke the single season reception and receiving record in 1999 which opened the door to signing a blockbuster deal, with America s Team, The Dallas Cowboys. His debut with the Cowboys was the best game of his career-eight catches, 149 yards and a 76 yard overtime touchdown run against the Cowboys nemesis, The Washington Redskins. He ended his first season with over 1000 yards receiving. He went on to play three seasons with the Cowboys before suffering a neck injury that led to his retirement from The Dallas Cowboys in 2003.

Rocket Ismail has frequently appeared on ESPN "College Game Day."

Ismail was also a contestant on Ty Murrays Team, The Dallas Cowboys. His debut with the Cowboys was the best game of his career-eight catches, 149 yards and a 76 yard overtime touchdown run against the Cowboys nemesis, The Washington Redskins. He ended his first season with over 1000 yards receiving. He went on to play three seasons with the Cowboys before suffering a neck injury that led to his retirement from The Dallas Cowboys in 2003. 

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