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Tennessee football: 2023 RB DeSean Bishop staying home, commits to Vols

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Growing up, Knoxville-native DeSean Bishop dreamed of running through the “T” in Neyland Stadium and wearing the Orange and White. Now, he gets a chance to fulfill his dream with Tennessee football. 

Bishop announced on Wednesday that he would be signing with the Vols. The three-star running back is ranked as the No. 34 prospect from Tennessee.

“A lot of kids don’t get the opportunity, to come play at Tennessee,” Bishop told Off The Hook Sports prior to publicly announcing his decision. “It’s just kind of a dream come true.”

Bishop originally committed to Coastal Carolina in July over the Vols and Purdue, among others. Following the departure of Jamey Chadwell for Liberty, Bishop backed off his pledge. 

Even while he was committed to the Chanticleers, Josh Heupel and Jerry Mack remained in contact with the 5-foot-10 and 196-pound back. 

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“Our bond, me and coach Mack and Heupel, has been tight, even when I was committed to Coastal,” Bishop said. “(Tennessee) is home for me. They gave me that home feeling.”

Bishop’s National Signing Day decision came down to Appalachian State and Tennessee. While the running back enjoyed Boone and admires the program the Mountaineers have built, Bishop couldn’t pass up Mack’s pitch.

“(Mack) told me straight up how it was, and what I had to do if I wanted to see the field here,” Bishop said. “That sold me, just getting to talk to him and him breaking it down to what I could do to help them.”

Bishop was extended a scholarship offer from Tennessee football in June 2021 after a strong showing at one of its camps. He was in attendance for every Tennessee home game this season and made the quick drive to campus on several other occasions despite being a Coastal commit. 

“They’re probably the best fans in the nation,” Bishop said about Vol fans. “I feel like that’s one of the best parts of playing at Tennessee. Their fanbase is just unmatched. You’ve got a packed out crowd every game, one of the loudest fanbases in the world.”

Bishop finished his high school career with over 8,000 all-purpose yards. He was a workhorse for local Karns High School, carrying the ball 441 times for 3,179 yards his junior season. 

He picked up back-to-back Mr. Football awards for Tennessee’s 5A classification. Bishop’s high school success places him near the top of Tennessee high school rushing yard records. 

Although he was the one carrying the rock, Bishop credits his team with his success. 

“I strive to be one of the best on the field,” Bishop said on his back-to-back Mr. Football trophies. “But you can’t give all the credit to me. It is definitely a team award. Those guys out there, that front five. I look at it as a team award.”

Bishop did it all for the Beavers, from playing the traditional running back position, to taking wildcat snaps, to lining up in the slot. He plans to take his versatility and work ethic with him to Tennessee football. 

“I’m going to be a hard worker,” Bishop said. “I’m going to do whatever they want me to do. I got a good chance of seeing the field early by enrolling early, maybe even getting a few touches next season.

“I’m definitely going to be diverse. You can split me out wide, I can run it out of the backfield. I see myself fitting really well in that offense.”

Bishop is seeing the fruition of his hard work now as he prepares for his career with Tennessee football. The first time he takes the field in the Orange and White will be special for the running back. 

“It’s going to be like a dream come true,” Bishop said. “My first walk on the field at UT, it’s going to be like a dream.”

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