Bloomfield (Conn.) High athlete Russell Thompson-Bishop tweeted Thursday that he has committed to Syracuse, making him the 14th player in the Orange’s 2017 class.
While Thompson-Bishop is listed as simply an “athlete,” he figures to spend the vast majority of his time on the field at wide receiver. He earned the “athlete” designation after playing quarterback during his sophomore season when Bloomfield’s starter went down with an injury, and the versatile Thompson-Bishop said the experience was valuable.
“Playing quarterback allowed me to completely understand the timing and repetition it requires to run a great offense,” he told UConn Report. “It helped me understand to run every route hard and always expect the ball.”
Thompson-Bishop isn’t ranked on the major recruiting sites, but he drew tons of interest from FBS schools across the country. The Connecticut native received offers from Boston College, UConn, and Temple, among other schools. He told Syracuse.com that he was heavily recruited by several Ivy League schools — such as Yale, Princeton, and Harvard — and military academies, like Army and Navy.
Thompson-Bishop also attended a camp at Penn State, where he blazed a 4.43 40-yard-dash and a 4.21 shuttle, and posted a 10-foot-3 broad jump. That raw athleticism is why the 6-foot-2, 192-pound, Thompson-Bishop turned so many heads on the recruiting stage.
The eye-popping 40 time wasn’t even Thompson-Bishop’s personal best; he says he once ran a mind-boggling 4.38. That’s a shocking figure, but it’s not completely surprising after watching Thompson-Bishop’s highlight reel. He’s lethal after the catch, frequently slicing up opposing defenses and taking short receptions to the house, and, when running vertical routes, torches the cornerbacks unfortunate enough to line up across from him.
At this point, Syracuse football fans must be salivating at the idea of Orange receivers running circles around the ACC. Thompson-Bishop is the sixth wideout to commit to SU’s class of 2017, and those pass-catchers are exactly what new head coach Dino Babers is looking for: speed demons.
Assuming they all remain committed to Syracuse, Thompson-Bishop will run routes next to guys like Nykeim Johnson (4.42 40-yard-dash) and Joshua Palmer (4.44). Good luck finding another team with three sub-4.5 receivers — and they’ll be catching passes from national hotshot Tommy DeVito.
Thompson-Bishop may not be a five-star recruit, but he’s another reason why Orange football fans should be thrilled for the future. Orange is the new fast.