Earlier this week, the Fizz’s Nathan Dickinson sat down with newly committed Class of 2017 wide receiver Russell Thompson-Bishop. Thompson-Bishop is listed as the ninth-best prospect in the state of Connecticut on 247Sports.com is a three-star recruit on all the major recruiting sites. He’s listed as and athlete, but Syracuse is recruiting him as a wide receiver which is the position he plays in high school.
Orange Fizz: I’ll go right in and ask it: Why Syracuse? What put Syracuse over the top for you?
Russell Thompson-Bishop: The reason why I chose Syracuse was the balance of that Ivy education and being the best athletic school that has offered me. Other stuff that went into it was the coaching, the area, the campus. The coached really had a big part to do with it. I went up there personally for a workout and they gave me an offer on the spot and showed me a lot of love. The Syracuse family and Cuse Twitter Army definitely recruited me the hardest out of all the schools.
OF: You’ve talked about how when you took that visit that really put Syracuse on top. What happened during that visit that really put you over the edge?
RTB: It became my No. 1 talking with Coach Babers. He’s just a very charismatic, loving, family man. His favorite word is faith, and I respect that because I’m also a family and religious man and we clicked. We’re kind of the same person.
OF: Do you think your speed factored into the coaches’ interest in you?
RTB: That set it over the top. To actually get an offer from a school you have to have the grades on point, but then you actually have to look the part. You have to fit the system that they want, and I think my speed and my size — being an intermediate-sized receiver, I can be outside or inside — also attracted them.
OF: You’re not the only fast wide receiver in this recruiting class. Right now it seems like Coach Babers is throwing a lot of guys onto his board and seeing who sticks once they get onto campus. Does that make you a little bit uncomfortable, and what makes you feel like you’re gonna be the guy to stick?
RTB: It doesn’t make me uncomfortable. The only thing it does is make me wanna work even harder. The competition on campus makes me even better. Of course there’s gonna be great competition when I play in the game, but to have to fight every day to get better and to work with my teammates is just better for me in a practice environment.
OF: You talked to Rex Culpepper. I’m sure you’ve heard of Tommy Devito, who’s a 2017 quarterback who has been getting a lot of hype lately. The guys who are gonna be throwing to you combined with the Dino Babers offense has to be exciting for a wide receiver.
RTB: It’s definitely exciting. Rex was actually the quarterback that worked out with me and he can definitely throw the ball. He’s a great athlete. He turned down big-name schools like Florida and Ohio State to come to Syracuse. Something’s up, and Orange is the new fast, of course. I’ve actually seen Tommy play in person. I was at the Nike Opening regionals in New Jersey against him. He can fling that ball; he’s a very underrated quarterback with great talent. The thing about him is even though he’s underrated he doesn’t talk about it. He only shows, and that’s what he did out in Oregon so now he’s getting the respect he deserves.
You can hear the full interview with Russell Thompson-Bishop this weekend on Fizz Radio, which airs Saturday morning at 9 am local time on Syracuse’s AM 1260 The Score.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson