Alumni Tracker- Michael Bishop

Michael Bishop isn't exactly where he wants to be, but at least the former Kansas State quarterback is back in the headlines. Playing for the Grand Rapids Rampage on Saturday, Bishop set an Arena Football League rushing record by gaining 103 yards, breaking the mark of 95 rushing yards by Major Harris of the Columbus Thunderbolts in 1991.

Bishop also passed for 258 yards and four touchdowns, but it wasn't enough as the Rampage lost to the Colorado Crush, 72-56. ''It was a good opportunity for me and I just took what was there,'' said Bishop, who will next play the Austin Wranglers on Feb. 19. ''I just did what I could with it.''

In addition to Bishop, the team rushing total of 122 ranks second high in AFL history. But to that, winning quarterback John Duton of the Crush said, "I don't think I've heard of someone running for 100 yards. That's great, but this is a passing league, too."

Bishop, 1-1 with the Rampage last year, was seeing his first action this season taking the place of Nick Browder, who quarterbacked the team in a 58-38 loss to the Arizona Rattlers in the season opener.

Through two starts, Grand Rapids' offensive average is 45 points per game, but the Rampage defense is allowing 65 per game.

Against Colorado, the Crush had the ball nine times and scored nine times leaving Bishop to say, "Once you get behind you have to score on every possession. We've got to keep working and keep guys on the same page."

What Bishop wishes is that he had his 1998 gang of Wildcat defensive friends with him today. Laughing, Bishop said, ''That would help out a lot. These guys really try, but we need a lot of help on defense.''

Out of Kansas State where he quarterbacked the 1997 and 1998 teams to a total of 22 victories, Bishop, who was runnerup in the Heisman Trophy voting, was only a seventh-round draft choice of the New England Patriots.

''That was really disappointing,'' Bishop said of his late draft selection. ''But the more I thought about it, there are some things you can't control. I didn't let it keep me down.'' Bishop's NFL career included brief stints in eight games in 1999 and 2000, and career totals of 3-of-9 passing for 80 yards and one touchdown.

''They (Patriots) had Drew Bledsoe at the time and we just had totally different games,'' Bishop said. ''The franchise was centered around him and I really never did fit in.''

Bishop, who also attended the Green Bay Packers training camp, played in NFL Europe with the Frankfurt Galaxy in 2001. In six games, he completed passes for 1,090 yards and 11 touchdowns plus rushed for 244 yards.

In the last three years, Bishop has played in the Canadian Football League with the Toronto Argonauts where he has passed for 2,776 yards and rushed for 666, accounting for a total of 21 touchdowns.

''I'm keeping my options open to go back, but right now I'm in the AFL and having fun with it,'' Bishop said of possibly going back to the CFL. ''As long as I'm having fun and having success, it's a good situation.

''We have a 50-yard field,'' Bishop said. ''You pass it 40 or 50 times a game, so it's a great game for a quarterback.'' And like it was for Kurt Warner, who made the jump from the AFL to NFL fame with the St. Louis Rams, Bishop has hopes that he will be the next AFL-to-NFL success story.

''It's a league that gives a lot of players hope,'' said the 28-year-old Bishop. ''For some, it takes taking the long road to where you want to be. I'm still on that long road, but if I keep focused, I hope someone will give me an opportunity.''

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