By MIKE BLACKERBY
DeSean Bishop has been glad to shoulder more than his share of the load during his two years on the Karns High School football team.
Whatever it takes to help the team said Bishop, the 5Star preps Underclassman Offensive Player of the Year
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound sophomore has already stamped himself as one of the top running backs in the state.
He rushed for 1,731 yards on 259 carries (6.7 yards per carry) and scored 22 touchdowns last season for the 2-7 Beavers.
For his career, Bishop has piled up 2,755 rushing yards and 38 touchdowns.
He averaged 192 yards rushing a game in 2020.
He’s just beginning to tap into his potential, said Karns coach Brad Taylor.
“I think he’s definitely one of the better backs in our area,” said Taylor.
“I wouldn’t trade him for anyone else. He had a really good year for us and gained even more confidence as the year went on.”
Taylor said Bishop has a rare blend of attributes that come together to make a great running back.
“He’s built and he’s put together,” said Taylor.
“He doesn’t look like someone who just turned 16 in mid-October last year. He has got good vision, power and speed – I don’t remember anybody catching him once he broke into the clear.”
Bishop had several memorable games for the Beavers last season.
He rushed for a career-high 351 yards and scored four touchdowns in a 42-33 loss to Clinton.
Bishop carried the ball 49 times for 342 yards against Heritage with six touchdowns.
He went for 330 yards on 42 carries against Campbell County. He scored six touchdowns against the Cougars and had another score called back.
“I just knew going into those games that I was looking to make plays and put the team on my back,” said Bishop.
Taylor said the Campbell County game was Bishop’s coming-out party.
“A lot of people saw the Campbell County game on TV,” said Taylor.
“It didn’t take long to figure out that this (Bishop running the ball) was how we were going to win. He just got stronger and stronger as the game wore on.”
Taylor said he’s confident that Bishop’s work ethic will carry him to new successes the next two seasons and beyond.
“DeSean likes football and he likes working at it,” said Taylor.
“He’s a good kid and he’s fun to be around. I think he can go on after high school and play college football. I definitely think he’s (at least) Division 1-A. Some where like Cincinnati would be a perfect fit for him.”
Bishop, who said his goal is to get up to 195 pounds by next season, is focused on helping Karns improve its record in 2021.
“Our goal is to spread it around a little more and for it not just be me,” said Bishop.
“We’re going to open up the passing game a little more.”
Still, Bishop said he’s ready and available if Taylor needs him to carry the ball 40-plus times in a game.
“Whatever it takes to get the job done,” said Bishop.