AUBURN, Ala. — Tray Bishop took his SAT on Saturday morning and missed most of Auburn’s “Big Cat Weekend” recruiting event. He traveled to Auburn after completing his exam and then opted to stay over Saturday night. He felt that exam went well.
Bishop told DawgNation last month he will choose among Auburn, Florida and Georgia. The Terell County (Dawson, Ga.) native said on Saturday night that he was well-acquainted with Auburn.
“Everything here really feels like home,” Bishop said.
The pitch from Georgia is to play receiver, with Plan B at defensive back. Florida wants him as a safety. Auburn wants him as a quarterback, receiver or safety. Bishop, of course, is very career-focused: He knows his best shot at playing on Sundays is not likely under center.
The only way he could succeed at quarterback would be in Auburn’s offense.
“Gus Malzahn told me I am still coming here to Auburn as an athlete,” Bishop said. “But I’m going to get my shot at quarterback if I come here.”
Playing his college ball receiver or safety would give him his best shot at the NFL. So that’s his likely college spot, but there’s one exception to that.
“It is at Auburn, though,” he said. “I could be a quarterback here.”
His situation is worth exploring because UGA recently took another commitment at receiver. That makes three commitments at that spot for 2017. UGA receivers coach James Coley has told several big-time targets the program only plans to sign four receivers in this class. Bishop is a possibility there, but so are four-stars Nico Collins, Jeremiah Holloman and Mark Webb.
Collins is almost at the 6-foot-6 mark in height and is rated as the No. 12 receiver in the nation this year. Webb and Holloman are also four-stars and ranked among the nation’s Top 30 at receiver. Webb is a potential package deal with four-star RB D’Andre Swift. Swift, his first cousin, is rated as the nation’s No. 1 all-purpose back for 2017.
Bishop is rated as the nation’s No. 5 athlete for the Class of 2017. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)
Bishop is rated as the nation’s No. 5 athlete and No. 145 player overall. That’s a higher overall ranking than both Holloman and Webb.
“I still have a spot at Georgia,” Bishop said at Big Cat Weekend. “You have to remember Georgia is recruiting me as an athlete, too.”
He wasn’t surprised by the fact another receiver wanted to play at Georgia.
“You can expect that with a man like (Jacob) Eason playing quarterback,” Bishop said. “You will most definitely see a lot of guys want to come to Georgia to play catch with him.”
The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder has changed up his decision date.
“It will probably be in September,” Bishop said. “But it will probably be a home game in mid-to-late September or even in early October.”
The senior told DawgNation on Monday night that he still has no leaders and plans a UGA trip in July. He does plan to visit Florida this weekend.
Bishop said he can’t tell a difference anywhere in which school is recruiting him the hardest, but he did say he’d heard the most from Auburn over the last five days. UGA assistants Kevin Sherrer and Auburn assistant Scott Fountain are the two recruiters with whom he has the best relationships.
He also still knows the commitments at Georgia better than his future teammates at any other school.
“I would have to say that because I probably played with more than half of them at the Rising Seniors game,” Bishop said. “We all exchanged numbers and we communicate more often that I do with the players going to any other school.”
Here’s another interesting tidbit: He admitted he was a part of that “SicEm17” group message chat even though he is not a public UGA commitment at this time.
Is he a silent commitment? Bishop didn’t seem like a fan of that strategy at all.
“I might just be all open with it when I make my commitment,” he said. “Because believe me when I make my commitment I will want the whole world to know. That will be a big thing. Everybody has got to know when I make my commitment. I don’t see why I would keep it a secret. That seems like something I’d want to let the whole world know about. That will be a fun day.”
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges. Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.
NextThe No. 1 player in Florida has some very strong connections to UGA