Tray Bishop is the proverbial jack-of-all-trades, and he’ll be taking his diverse skill set to Auburn after committing to the Tigers on Monday, per Chad Simmons of Scout.com.
“My final decision was made last week, and it came down to the relationship with the coaches and the atmosphere at Auburn,” Bishop said to Simmons. “The offense they run made it easier for me to make my decision because it is similar to ours.”
According to 247Sports’ composite rankings, Bishop is the No. 3 athlete and the No. 148 player overall in the 2017 recruiting class. He’s also the 18th-best player in Georgia.
The scholarship offers have been pouring in for Bishop, with seven SEC schools and a variety of other major programs taking the step, per 247Sports. Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn attempted to go the extra mile, both figuratively and literally, driving Bishop around in his BMW, per Wesley Sinor of AL.com:
Bishop may be listed as an athlete, but he might already have a position in mind for when he eventually heads to Auburn.
“Right now, how they’re talking, it’s [to play] the quarterback position,” he said of the Tigers coaching staff in February, per Drew Champlin of AL.com. “Most schools have offered me as an athlete, but with Auburn, I can see myself playing quarterback at their school for the simple fact that the offense they run is similar to the offense we run.”
Not only has Malzahn showed an affinity for mobile quarterbacks, but he has also used them to great success at the school. He was Auburn’s offensive coordinator when the team won the national championship with Cam Newton in the 2010 season, and he helped get the Tigers to a national title game with Nick Marshall at quarterback in the 2013 season.
While watching highlights of Bishop, one could easily see him moving seamlessly into the Auburn offense:
At most schools, Bishop probably wouldn’t work as a quarterback. Malzahn did a great job of masking Marshall’s failings as a passer, and he could easily do the same for Bishop. Accuracy will obviously be a key factor in his potential success, but Marshall was a 60.2 percent passer in his two years with the Tigers.
Positioning Bishop at quarterback in the depth chart would also make sense, given Sean White is heading into his sophomore season. White was the No. 8 pro-style quarterback in the 2014 recruiting class, per 247Sports’ composite rankings. He also threw for 1,167 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions as a freshman.
By the time White is preparing to leave Auburn, Bishop will have had time to work on some of his issues as a passer and ideally improved to an extent he can help the Tigers.
Having White will also be a nice luxury in that the staff will have time to determine whether Bishop’s future lies at quarterback. Considering his combination of speed and athleticism, he could easily transition to wide receiver or a role in the secondary.
As long as Auburn can settle on one position for Bishop relatively early, thus ensuring he gets the coaching specialization he needs as soon as possible, he should become an impact player for the Tigers in a few years.
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Source: Bleacher Report -SEC Football