Raghib was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey but grew up in Wilkes-Barre PA and attended E.L Meyers High School. After playing football at Meyers High School, Raghib took his football skills to the University of Notre Dame. During the 1989 regular season game against Michigan, Ismail returned two kickoffs for TDs a feat never accomplished by a Michigan opponent. After the 1990 season Rocket finished second for the Heisman losing to BYU QB Ty Detmer, but was projected to the top selection of 1991 NFL Draft before deciding at the last minute to sign with the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts.
After two successful years in the CFL, Rocket joined the Raiders in 1993 and was traded after the 1995 season to the Carolina Panthers. Ismail had a career year (at the time) in 1998 with the Panthers with 69 receptions and 1,024 yards. In 1999 Ismail signed with the Dallas Cowboys and had a career year with 1,097 yards and six touchdowns. In 2000 due to injury Ismail was limited to eight games and the 2001 season marked his last season in the league.
Ismail’s younger brother, Qadry, also had a career in the NFL.