Bishop heading for Hula Bowl | NevadaAppeal.com

Bishop heading for Hula Bowl

DARRELL MOODY
Appeal Sports Writer

RENO – Tight end Adam Bishop has been an important cog in Nevada’s high-powered offense both as a receiver and blocker the last two years.

And, he now has a spot on the West squad at the annual Hula Bowl to show for it.

The Hula Bowl will be held Jan. 12 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Coaches for the game include Illinois coach Ron Zook and Oregon State coach Mike Riley.

Bishop, a second-team all-WAC selection, caught only 14 passes, but seven of them were for scores. He also helped block for the WAC’s leading rushing attack and the league’s leading rusher, teammate Luke Lippincott.

“I am very excited to have the chance to play in the Hula Bowl,” Bishop said. “It is a great opportunity for me to get a chance to play in this game.

“I found out a few weeks ago. I wasn’t sure what to do because I was on the Shrine watch list and still am I guess.”

Bishop follows in the footsteps of former teammate Caleb Spencer, who played in the Hula Bowl last season.

“We’re very pleased for Adam,” Nevada coach Chris Ault said. “This is a neat opportunity for him and I am glad to see him get this recognition.”

While Bishop is thrilled for the opportunity, he described his season as “only OK.” That’s Bishop. Making the smallest mistake drives him nuts.

“I always feel I could have done better,” Bishop said. “Every single game I miss at least one block.

“I’m hard on myself. That’s what the coaches are always saying. What can I say, I’m a perfectionist.”

Bishop would have liked to caught more balls, but he’s not complaining. It’s team first with him, which is why his teammates voted him as one of four captains this season.

“Making it to another bowl game has been awesome,” said Bishop, who is one of 13 players that will have played in all three bowl games. “I’m very focused on helping us win this game.”

Playing in the Hula Bowl also gives Bishop an opportunity to work out for a week under the watchful eyes of NFL scouts. He has prototypical size, and something extra. He can snap for PATs and field goals, and even long snap for punts, if needed. The NFL certainly likes players who can fill more than one role on a roster.

“People tell me to keep doing that (snapping),” Bishop said. “They took me off the punt team after the Nebraska game because I got my ankle rolled up on, and they didn’t want to risk an injury.

“That (the NFL) has been my goal since I was 8. Even if I could make a practice squad somewhere that would be awesome because it means I would be in the NFL and I could work from there.”

BAY AREA RECRUITS LIKE NEVADA

Nevada may have landed a verbal agreement from Oak Grove defensive end Mark Forrest.

Forrest’s high school coach Ed Buller, could neither confirm or deny the report, however. Buller said that he hadn’t talked to Forrest since his return from his recruiting trip to Nevada on Tuesday.

“I know he had a good time; enjoyed his stay there,” Buller said. “That’s all that I know right now.”

Forrest, a 6-foot-7 220-pounder, is being recruited by Wyoming, Fresno State, San Jose State and Nevada.

One of Forrest’s teammates, Aaron Huck, also is being recruited heavily by Nevada.

“I’m 99 percent sure that Aaron is going to sign with Nevada,” Buller said. “Coach (Chris) Ault and coach (Jim) Mastro said they would be down here after the first of the year, and he was going to let them know then if not before.”

By NCAA rules, Nevada coaches can’t talk about a student-athlete until he’s signed a letter of intent.

BUTLER IN SHRINE GAME

Linebacker Ezra Butler, who graduated last weekend, said that he’s been picked to play in the East-West Shrine game.

Butler follows in the footsteps of former teammate Jeff Rowe, who was MVP of the game last season.

“I found out about midway through the season,” said Butler, who led the team in tackles this season despite missing two games due to a suspension and an injury. “This has been great. A chance to play in three bowl games and get picked to play in an all-star game.”

The NFL scouts have been at workouts all year, and Butler has been their main focus. A 250-pound linebacker who can run a 4.5 is a valuable commodity.

“Some people have me projected inside,” Butler said. “I showed I can play in a 3-4 and I showed I can play in a 4-3. I don’t care, I just want the chance to play (in the NFL).”

SHOVING MATCH

Two reserves – center Josh Catapano and nose tackle Nate Agaiava were engaged in a little shoving match midway during practice, and both players’ helmets came off in the process.

The skirmish was broken up quickly.