North Carolina State University Wolfpack
Boca Raton, Florida
Boca Raton High School
David Amerson and Earl Wolff were the more well known of the Wolfpack defensive backs, but everyone on the team knew that Bishop was the leader of the defensive unit. The most experienced starter on the team, playing with the first unit in 46 of the 50 games that he wore a North Carolina State uniform, he was on the field for a team-best 2,807 plays.
Bishop was cited by State's coaching staff as the main reason the secondary made great strides since the end of the 2009 campaign, which coincided with the Boca Raton product taking over free safety duties. He is one of 17 players to record at least 315 tackles during their Wolfpack career.
Bishop's 12 interceptions not only tied for fourth on the school all-time record list, but rank ninth among active players in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision ranks. Of the 20 turnovers he has been involved in (12 pass thefts, four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries), the Wolfpack converted 12 of them into scoring drives.
Bishop, Amerson and Wolff all grew together as football players, but will leave a huge void for the new Wolfpack coaching staff to fill in 2013. "It felt great to have a group that is all kind of around the same age," Bishop said. "We learned together, grew together and built with each other. I feel like we've struggled earlier in our career, but we definitely improved as a unit the last two years. We've made some mistakes, but we learn from them."
Bishop noted that it was hard to be successful on the field as a first-year player. He went through the trials and tribulations as a starting true freshman, but Bishop had older players to look towards and by his sophomore campaign, it was Bishop who was the one providing the youngsters with support.
The fourth-year safety also said that some things just can't be learned until a player sees it live and adjusts to the college game. It took Bishop a little while to get adjusted but, as his rookie campaign progressed, it was clear that improvements were being made – he made 30 of his 41 tackles over the last five games of the season, all starting assignments, en route to earning Atlantic Coast Conference All-Freshman honors from The Sporting News.
"It takes almost a full year of playing in games [before it starts to click]," he admitted. "I got the chance to play in eleven games that year and, towards the end of the season, the light started to go on. Then, I went through spring and fall camp, that's when I think you really take the biggest steps."
Bishop had an extensive list of areas where he improved over the past three seasons with the Pack. Those improvements have helped him register 64 tackles and lead the team with four interceptions as a sophomore, earning All-ACC honorable mention in 2010.
He would continue to excel as a pass thief in 2011, picking up All-ACC accolades as the free safety posted 99 tackles, in addition to recovering three fumbles, one that he ran back for a touchdown while the other two set up scoring drives. He also finished second on the squad with five interceptions.
"I think I'm better in coverage," Bishop said. "I see the field better. I understand concepts more. A lot of people just think it's cover two or cover three, but there are a lot of different techniques that take time to get comfortable with and master. I feel like I'm finally starting to settle in and I'm able to anticipate routes now instead of just guessing what the receiver is going to do."
The return of all key defensive backs in 2012 did not produce the results in the "win" column the staff expected, leading to coach Tom O'Brien being dismissed prior to the Music City Bowl. Still, Bishop had his finest season, recording a career-high 111 tackles (87 solos) with four stops-for-loss, two forced fumbles and three interceptions, receiving All-ACC honorable mention for his efforts.
Bishop started 46-of-50 games at free safety, participating in 2,807 plays while recording 315 tackles (tied for 16th in school history) that included 219 solos, making eight stops behind the line of scrimmage…Deflected nine passes and tied for fourth in school annals with twelve interceptions for 121 yards in returns…Caused and recovered four fumbles, returning one 33 yards for a touchdown.
Bishop started all 13 games at free safety, as the All-Atlantic Coast Conference honorable mention ranked second on the team with 111 tackles (87 solos), including four stops for losses of 12 yards…Participated in a career-high 951 plays, as he broke up four passes and intercepted three others for 14 yards in returns…Recovered one fumble and caused two others…Led the team in stops with 10 tackles in each of The Citadel (stop for a 2-yard loss), Miami (one pass break-up) and Florida State contests…Added a career-high 14 tackles vs. North Carolina and picked off the 12th pass of his career in the regular season finale with Boston College, adding six stops...Caused a fumble and posted 10 hits vs. Tennessee…Had seven more tackles with an interception and a forced fumble in the Connecticut game…Recovered a fumble vs. Virginia and picked off a pass vs. Wake Forest.
The All-ACC nominee was the team's third-leading tackler with 99 hits (60 solos), as two of those stops came from behind the line of scrimmage…Recovered three fumbles, returning one 33 yards for a touchdown vs. Georgia Tech (added seven stops)…Also had a fumble recovery and gained 53 yards on five interceptions…Picked off his fifth pass of the season in the win over Clemson, as he tallied 11 tackles in that victory as well...Recovered two fumbles in the dramatic come-from-behind win over Maryland, leading to 14 of the Pack's 42 unanswered points...Picked off a pass vs. Wake Forest and returned an interception 36 yards to go with nine tackles vs. South Alabama…Caused a fumble and delivered seven hits with a pass theft vs. Central Michigan…Followed with a 17-yard interception return and nine tackles vs. Virginia.
An All-ACC nominee who was the season starter at field safety...Led the team with four interceptions for 54 yards in returns, as he deflected three other tosses…Recorded 64 tackles (40 solos)…Pulled down a pair of interceptions in the win over Boston College, the most pass thefts by a Wolfpack player in a game since 2005, as he was named the ACC Defensive Back of the Week for that contest...Also picked off passes vs. Virginia Tech and vs. West Virginia in the Champs Sports Bowl...Made a season-high 10 tackles at Maryland.
Named to the Sporting News ACC All-Freshman team...Started eight games at safety, more than any other true freshman...Recorded 41 tackles (32 solos) with a stop for a loss and two pass deflections while participating in 354 plays.
No major injuries reported.
4.59 in the 40-yard dash…1.57 10-yard dash…2.72 20-yard dash…4.18 20-yard shuttle…6.89 three-cone drill…32-inch vertical jump…9'5" broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 22 times…29 3/8-inch arm length…8 5/8-inch hands…71 ½-inch wingspan.
Bishop attended Boca Raton (Fla.) High School, playing football for head coach Eddie Giersbook…The safety registered 108 tackles and five interceptions during his senior campaign, returning one pass theft for a touchdown in 2008…Also caught 45 passes for 690 yards and eight touchdowns as a wide receiver…A first team all-conference selection in 2007, he was also named to the Class 2A all-county squad in 2006…Named to the Prep Star All-Southeast region class of 2009, he received a three-star prospect rating from Rivals.com.
Bishop graduated in December, 2012 with a degree in Business Administration...Resides in Boca Raton, North Carolina.
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