Bishop pondering his options

The fierce rivalry between ASU and Arizona is often transformed from the gridiron to the recruiting arena, and this year is no different. Denver (Colo.) East High School safety Ezekiel Bishop is committed the Wildcats, and on Tuesday night he hosted Sun Devil head coach Dennis Erickson and two of assistants as Bishop continues to evaluate which recruiting route to choose.

Joining coach Erickson Tuesday night was defensive coordinator and safeties coach Craig Bray and linebackers coach Trent Bray. All three according to Bishop left a strong impression on him during their visit.

"Coach Erickson was talking to me about his career achievements," Bishop said, "winning two championships at the ‘U' and that really fascinated me. He told me that he sees this ASU program doing big things too. Coach (Craig) Bray said that I have an opportunity to compete for early playing time. He told me that I bring something that they lack right now and that's a hard hitting safety.

"Right now I'm still committed to U of A, but after talking to the ASU coaches they gave me a lot to think about."

The 5-10 170 Bishop committed to Arizona last summer, and was starting to be pursued by the Sun Devils in the fall. In the beginning of the recruiting process with ASU, the safety mentioned some other aspects about the maroon and gold that caught his eye.

"When coach Bray met me for the first time he showed me a video presentation of the campus," Bishop recalled. "I really liked seeing the facilities, and how nice the housing was there. I also really liked what I've seen about their academics."

Former Wildcat assistant Greg Brown departing Arizona could have possibly given Bishop a reason to rethink his recruitment. Brown ironically was hired by Bishop's hometown school, The University of Colorado. Following his departure, the safety said that the Arizona coaches have stayed in contact with him.

"Coach Ryan Walters came to see me already and is coming to see me Friday," Bishop commented. "Coach Kish called me a couple of times and coach Stoops is going to see me later this month."

The Denver East Angles finished 6-4 this last season, losing in the first round of the playoffs. Bishop recorded 84 tackles his senior year playing mostly linebacker, and posted four sacks, three passes defended and two blocked punts. On special teams he averaged 23.7 yards per punt return. The safety was named to the Denver Post All-Colorado football team.

While Bishop prides himself as a physical player and sure tackler, he commented that his skills are well rounded.

"I feel pretty good about my coverage skills," Bishop claimed. "Last summer I went to a Kansas State camp and I played corner there and I was locking it down. But I know I have to work hard every day to get better with all my skills."

Bishop stated that he will probably decide sometime this week whether to visit ASU, and that is the only school he is considering along with Arizona.

"There is a chance I will visit there," Bishop said. "The earliest I would visit them would be next week. I would visit there to see how the program operates, to see the facilities and just to see the campus.

"The recruiting process is pretty crazy. Just when you thing something is set, then something changes and you are back to square one. Even though it's overwhelming, at the same time I feel blessed to have gone through it. Only a few student-athletes go through this process."


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