Bishop off to a fast start

Coming into fall camp the Arizona State secondary was tabbed as an area of weakness which needed to be addressed. Safety Ezekiel Bishop may have not been near or at the top of the possible solutions list, but thus far in fall camp the true freshman has stepped up to the plate showing he could provide quality depth at his position.

The 5-10 175 pound Ezekiel Bishop quickly found himself on the second unit during the first few days of Arizona State's fall camp and its head coach Dennis Erickson definitely took notice.

"I liked him ever since we recruited him," Erickson admitted. "He's a very physical payer who works very hard. He'll play quite a bit as a freshman."

"I came here at Arizona State with the mindset that I'm not going to give the coaches a reason to redshirt me," Bishop declared. "My coaches back home told me to study film before I got here and that's what I have been doing all summer trying to pick up the defense. You have to know the defense in order to get on the field.

"The first day of practice I was shocked how fast the defense was. But you have to catch on and react, not think. Know what your assignments are and react. I have been improving on my footwork. Reading the quarterback and the offense is something I have been struggling but have been doing better with."

In last Saturday's scrimmage Bishop had an interception, which if played in game conditions would have probably be returned for a touchdown.

"We came back strong as a defense but we lost one of our leaders, Brandon Magee," said Bishop following the scrimmage. "I have to step up now. We all have to step up."

"You come here and you know you are playing with some of the best caliber of players at the college level. You just have to look up to them and step up your game so you play at their level. I know that's what I did. I'm loving it here and I am giving God all the glory."

Bishop was named to the PrepStar All-Midlands Team following his senior season and was listed as the No. 47 overall prospect in the Midlands region by SuperPrep. The safety earned All-Colorado honors by the Denver Post as a senior and that year recorded a team-high 84 total tackles (60 solo) with four sacks, three pass deflections, two blocked punts, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

The Sun Devil true freshman originally pledged to the University of Arizona, but switched his allegiance to the maroon and gold just a couple of days before Letter of Intent day. His position coach, Craig Bray, was heavily involved in the recruiting process and that is another factor that has helped Bishop with what appears to be a smooth transition.

"He is a great coach," Bishop said of Bray. "He has helped me a lot, just like Clint Floyd and Shane McCullen have helped me too. Coach Bray is a funny guy but he really knows his stuff. He's demanding and pushes you to give your all every day.

"I'm just going to continue and learn the playbook, learn the defense and take it one day at a time. If I always give 100 percent in practice I'll be fine."

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