Dawson, Ga.--Four-star Tray Bishop from Terrell County High has been a big target for the Auburn Tigers for more than a year and on Monday that persistence paid off for Gus Malzahn’s program when the athletic quarterback chose the Tigers over Georgia, Florida, Alabama and others.
Never wavering in their pursuit of Bishop, Auburn has been a presence for him and because of that he’s made close to a dozen visits to the Plains since that time. That has allowed him to get to to know the players and coaches for the Tigers, something that meant a lot to him when the time came to pick his future home.
“It has been pretty good with them staying consistent,” Bishop said. “I know it’s a recruiting process, but I’m a smart enough guy to know that you can tell me this and I’m going to read into it. You can’t fool me with recruiting talk.
“With Auburn it has never been just recruiting talk,” he added. “They’ve always been straight honest with me, straightforward from the beginning. Now a whole year later nothing has changed. I think that’s what I needed, a great atmosphere and a great relationship with the coaches.”
Picturing himself making plays in Auburn’s offensive system at quarterback since first getting an offer from the Tigers last June, Bishop has gotten to see exactly how he’ll fit in the Tigers’ plans on offense over the last 12 months. That had a huge impact on a player excited to show everyone what he can do at the position.
“That kind of hit home with me,” Bishop said of playing quarterback. “That was the nail to the final piece for me. I can play many positions at different schools so it didn’t really matter position-wise, but at Auburn it’s so similar to what we do in high school I feel like it’s just a progression. It would be the same, but on a higher level. My skill set will get better, so that was a key to it.”
At 6-3, 205 with 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash and the athleticism to be offered as a quarterback, wide receiver and safety by three different SEC schools, Bishop was back on the Auburn campus Saturday for the War Damn BBQ along with much of his family. While that could have been the thing that sealed the deal for Bishop, he said it was already done.
“I’ve know for at least these last two months,” Bishop said. “I started looking at other schools that came into the picture and I was thinking I needed to re-evaluate things, but I felt like I’m at home there and they’ve been on me since day one. I just felt like that was the right place for me. Getting my parents over and my family members, they enjoyed it. That made it the place.”
With his decision behind him Bishop said he’s excited about the opportunity he’s got in the future to not only help the Tigers win games, but to also represent for Terrell County.
“Oh man, that will be a big accomplishment for me and my city to be going to a SEC school out of my hometown,” Bishop said. “Not too many people do that. With me taking my skills to the Auburn offense, I feel like when I put in the work I’m going to get results out of it. I think I’ll make a lot of folks proud, including myself.”
Expected to be one of the top players in Georgia this season, Bishop has continued to develop his skills at the quarterback position and that’s a focus for him again this fall. With plans to make a run at playing time when he gets his shot a year from now, Bishop said he’s just ready for his time to shine.
“It’s about to get real,” Bishop said in a message to Auburn fans. “War Damn Eagle.”