The day before he committed to NC State, Bishop was rated a one-star prospect on Scout.com. When he verbaled, apparently network analysts viewed his film because he was upgraded to a three-star player and the No. 77 safety in the country that same day.
"If I knew that, I'd have committed a couple of times by now," Bishop joked when told that he had received a higher ranking. "Maybe I'll have been a five-star by now!"
The NC State coaching staff is happy to have him, regardless of the number of stars associated with his profile. After a stellar senior season where he totaled 100+ tackles and five interceptions, Bishop began shipping out his senior highlight tape and his recruitment exploded. After earning early offers from Air Force, FIU, and Western Michigan, he secured offers from NC State, West Virginia, and Pittsburgh, solidifying his status as a high-major recruit.
"The NC State offer meant a lot to me, just like my first offer from FIU meant a lot to me," said Bishop. "Anytime a school wants to pay for your education, that is a blessing. The NC State offer and the West Virginia offer actually came in on the same night. After that night, the last month has been really fun and exciting."
Bishop quickly scheduled official visits to NC State and West Virginia. He was in Raleigh for the Wolfpack's season finale against Miami.
"The visit was awesome," said Bishop. "I had a real good time. I have grandparents in North Carolina so we spent Thanksgiving with them and then came over to State on Friday. We went to the Miami game and that win was huge for the program. My host was Bobby Floyd. He showed me around the whole weekend, and I tagged along with him. It was exciting because it was a big weekend for him, too. He had never started before and then he played real well so it was cool.
"It was my first chance to see State, but I liked everything about it. I liked the team. I liked the coaches. I liked the school and I think the program is going in a real positive direction under coach O'Brien. I just liked the visit a lot."
While he admits that his parents were thrilled with NC State, they also liked West Virginia. Bishop visited the Big East program the weekend after the NC State visit for WVU's game against South Florida.
"My mom was sold on NC State after the visit," he stated. "But, she was going to be happy with any decision I made... my dad too. They both liked West Virginia a lot, and so did I. I had fun up there and I think coach Stewart is a very good coach. After I came back, I slept on it a couple of nights, and I just knew that NC State was where I wanted to be at it."
After reaching a decision to attend NC State, Bishop had to inform the Wolfpack coaches. NC State defensive coordinator Mike Archer was scheduled to visit his high school the next day, and that evening he committed to the Wolfpack coaching staff.
"Coach Archer came to the school first thing in the morning, and we asked if he could come over that night too," said Bishop. "I wanted him to talk with my parents so we could make it official. That night I also called coach O'Brien, and he was very happy. I'm sure coach Archer had told him that I was committing, but he was really happy and congratulated me on my decision. He welcomed me to the Wolfpack family, and said he's ready for me to get up there and work with them.
"To tell you the truth, coach Reed may have been excited the most. He's a fun guy to be around. I look forward to working with him."
Prior to verbaling, Bishop had heard all about Wolfpack defensive backs coach Mike Reed and his coaching philosophy. One of the assistant coaches at Boca Raton High School is former Wolfpack cornerback Jimmie Sutton. A four-year contributor for NC State, Sutton was a vital member of the 2007 team, working at cornerback under coach Reed.
"Jimmie wasn't there for a real long time with coach Reed, but he liked coach Archer and coach Reed," said Bishop. "He never pushed NC State on me. He just told me that coach O'Brien has his program headed in the right direction. He didn't really say go there because he wanted me there... he wanted me to make my own decision and be comfortable. When I called him and told him I had committed, he was real happy."
At 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, Bishop has the frame to contribute early at the safety position. While excited to have his college decision behind him, Bishop knows that he has to continue working hard because the chance will be there to come in and compete for playing time right away.
"The coaches like how physical I am from the safety position," he stated. "I have pretty good size for a safety, and I can cover a lot of ground. They think I can do a lot of different stuff. On my film, they see I can come off the edge as a blitz or drop into coverage. They like my versatility and I think that was attractive to them.
"Coach O'Brien told me that I need to be ready to come in and compete. It's really up to me what happens. If I put in the necessary work and do my part, they feel I can come in and play. I've always been a kid who tries to do my best at what I can control. I can control how hard I work... that's something I can do. Because of that, I plan on coming in and competing right away."
"It's an exciting time for the program," Bishop added. "I think they are buying into the team concept and what coach O'Brien is telling them. I think that's why they made such a big turnaround. They couldn't have finished the year on a better note. That win against Miami was huge for them. As for the team, they have a really solid defense and the offense is exciting to watch with their quarterback, Russell Wilson. I saw him play earlier in the year, but I didn't know he was that good. He's special... the potential is there for us to compete for an ACC championship. It's something I want to be a part of."
With a 3.5 GPA and a 1250 SAT (1600 scale), Bishop projects as a full qualifier and plans on enrolling for the first summer session.
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