- Gerry Hamilton, ESPN Staff Writer
The most significant riser in the updated ESPN Junior 300 hails from Georgia.
While the talent in numbers in the Peach State comes largely from the Atlanta area, small towns in South Georgia have produced some of the state’s top talent over the years, including Ray Drew, Jay Rome, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Montravius Adams, Raekwon McMillan, Trenton Thompson and Roquan Smith.
The next name to add to that talented list is Class of 2017 athlete Tray Bishop. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound high school quarterback at Class 1A Terrell County flew through the 2014 season as a relative unknown without a scholarship offer.
During the spring evaluation period, that all changed when colleges began seeing the dynamic athlete up close and in person.
“It was in the spring that I got my first offer,” said Bishop. “… Troy and Mississippi State were my first two [offers]”
While that got the ball rolling for Bishop, who is being recruited as a receiver prospect by most schools, it was summer camp performances in June that took his recruitment to another level.
“When the summer hit, I went on a summer tour to Auburn, Alabama, Georgia and Florida State,” Bishop said. “The first up to offer was Auburn. That’s when I ran the 4.36 (40 time). Then I was at Alabama the next Monday and ran 4.41 after the camp. I ran 4.38 at Georgia and 4.36 at FSU.”
With a recruitment taking off nearly overnight, the small town kid’s head was sent spinning with four of the nation’s top programs suddenly in search of a commitment.
“It was so surprising because I wasn’t expecting that to happen,” he said. “I wasn’t planning to go to camps to get offers, just to hopefully impress the coaches and get interest. After I got the first offer [Mississippi State], it was game time, and time to live my dream.”
Right now, it’s Auburn leading Florida State for his pledge with some family members favoring home-state Georgia.
The shock of picking up ten offers in two months wasn’t only a shock to Bishop, but his family. Now for Bishop, it’s all about staying focused on what is important to living out the dream.
“My granddad, my dad and mom and grandma were really surprised also. When the offer from Auburn came in, my family stressed to me that I have to keep my head on straight and stay focused to achieve my dreams.”