Arkansas CB target LaDarrius Bishop a ‘big goofball’
Ashdown (Ark.) 2018 cornerback LaDarrius Bishop likes to joke around. His coach, Matt Richardson, even calls him a “big goofball” off the field.
Bishop is known for the keeping the mood light while still working hard to improve his game. A perfect example came last year when former Arkansas defensive coordinator Robb Smith came to Ashdown to scout safety Montaric Brown, who signed with the Hogs’ 2017 class.
“We have a rule in the weight room that you’re not allowed to sit down,” Richardson recently told SEC Country. “Well, Robb Smith was sitting down and LaDarrius walked up and said, ‘Hey coach, we don’t sit down in the weight room,’ kinda smiled and walked off. He got up, too. It was pretty funny. I said, ‘Hey man, that guy right there might end up getting you back one day.’ “
A 3-star recruit according to 247Sports’ composite rankings, Bishop has many suitors hoping to bring his big personality to their school. He has offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Illinois, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State and others.
LaDarrius Bishop runs at ‘a different gear’
The personality is one thing, but the offers have come mostly as a result of Bishop’s exceptional ability on the field.
It starts with his speed. Few recruits in the 2018 class, or any other class, can claim to be faster. At a Mississippi State camp earlier this month, he ran a 4.35-second 40-yard dash. That speed has made him a standout on both sides of the ball at Ashdown.
“He has a different gear,” Richardson said. “There’s times we’ll throw the ball up, it looks like it’s overthrown and there’s another gear that kicks in. He’s one of those kind of players that has extra in the tank and they know they can go get it.
“He can go get somebody on defense when he needs to or he can make something big happen on offense when it needs to happen.”
LaDarrius Bishop taking educated approach to recruiting
Bishop is well-versed in how the recruiting process works, having tagged along with Brown — his cousin and close friend — during his recruitment. And the experience has paid off.
For instance, running 4.35 at Mississippi State vaulted him to the top of the Bulldogs’ recruiting board at defensive back. Increased attention from Dan Mullen’s program has obviously come as a result. But Bishop isn’t wowed by only hearing how much the Bulldogs like him as a prospect, he wants to know the specifics of their program.
“He sat down with Mullen the other day by himself and he asked him how many DBs he had, what he’s going to do for him outside of football and how he’s going to make me a better person,” Richardson said.
“He’s not scared of recruiting. When we started this stuff with Montaric, it was all new. But he’s gone on these trips before he blew up with Montaric and he watched how it went. Now, it’s his turn and he feels like he knows how to talk to these guys.”
Will LaDarrius Bishop end up at Arkansas?
Arkansas has long been the favorite to land Bishop’s commitment. He’s very high on the Razorbacks and has said he’d love to play with Brown again.
However, that’s becoming a potentially complicated situation. Arkansas already has three commits expected to play defensive back, two of them being cornerbacks, in the 2018 class. There’s a chance the Hogs won’t take in another, though Bishop could also be an exception.
The one thing Bishop did not want to do is commit to Arkansas before taking a number of visits elsewhere. He understands and respects Bret Bielema’s policy of commits not taking visits to other schools.
“He really likes Arkansas, but he also wants to see everything,” Richardson said. “It doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to commit to the Razorbacks, he just wants to see stuff. There’s nothing wrong with a 16-year-old kid that wants to see stuff.”
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