Josh Heupel updates the progress of Tennessee redshirt freshman RB DeSean Bishop

IMG_3593by:Grant Ramey04/18/24


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DeSean Bishop’s college football career got off to a good start a year ago, when the freshman running back went through his first spring camp with Tennessee football. 

“Not surprising what DeSean’s done,” Tennessee coach Josh Heupel said at the time. “He’s handled the transitioning into college football extremely well. We thought he was extremely athletic. I thought he had great vision and pace as a running back coming out of high school. 

“He’s done a really good job of handling the communication system,” Heupel continued, “and not being too big for him since Day 1. I’m proud of what he’s done.”

The only thing that got in the way was an ankle injury in fall camp that ended his rookie season with the Vols before it got started. 

DeSean Bishop ran for 6,783 yards during prep career in Knoxville

Bishop was a local three-star prospect out of Knoxville’s Karns High School. He rushed for 6,783 yards and had 81 rushing touchdowns in 35 prep games over four seasons, including a career-high 3,179 yards and 34 touchdowns in 12 games as a junior in 2021.

He enrolled early at Tennessee and went through spring practices with the Vols last year, running for 88 yards in his debut in the Orange & White Game last April. 

The ankle injury was suffered in the first scrimmage of fall camp, sidelining Bishop and sending him to a redshirt season. 

He made his return on Saturday in the Orange & White Game, carrying twice for nine yards and catching one pass for a gain of 28. 

‘(He) continued to grow really well throughout the course of the spring’

Heupel described Bishop as coming off “for the most part … a full offseason” in the lead up to his second spring game. And he has taken advantage of it. 

“Thought he did a really good job,” Heupel said. “Got a ton of opportunities this spring. Felt like coming off of an injury, whether it was mentally or just transitioning back into the ball side of it, continued to grow really well throughout the course of the spring.” 

Bishop got more opportunities this spring because of another injury in the running back room, with freshman Cam Seldon suffering a shoulder injury that ended his spring two weeks early. 

Seldon ran 13 times for 55 yards in Tennessee’s 35-0 win over Iowa in the Citrus Bowl in January, behind Dylan Sampson’s 133 yards on 20 carries. 

A now-healthy Bishop will add depth to that group. 

“(He) sees it, what’s happening up in front of him, extremely well,” Heupel said on Saturday, “and does a great job pressing the line of scrimmage, using blockers.”

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