SE: Ring of Honor Part 1 | Michael Bishop Seizes Opportunity

September 9, 2015
By Kelly McHugh-Stewart
As a bright-eyed 21-year old from Willis, Texas, all Michael Bishop was looking for was an opportunity, and that’s exactly what K-State football head coach Bill Snyder gave him.
When the dynamic quarterback decided to come to K-State in the fall of 1997 after spending two years at Blinn Community College, nothing was promised to him. 
“I remember the first time Coach Snyder and Coach Mo (Latimore) came to Texas to visit me,” said Bishop last weekend before being inducted into K-State Football’s Ring of Honor. “They came to the small town of Willis and talked to me about going out to Kansas to play football. Growing up in Texas, I was a die-hard UT fan, and I thought about going to one of those schools, but they all wanted me to play receiver or defensive back, and I didn’t want to do that. 
“But with Coach Snyder and Coach Mo, we sat down and talked, and after 10 minutes of conversation, I knew where my heart was,” continued Bishop. “I knew I was going to K-State to play quarterback. I wasn’t guaranteed anything, but I was guaranteed an opportunity, and that’s all I wanted.”
Making the most of that opportunity, Bishop went on to become one of the greatest players in K-State history. 
In Bishop’s time at K-State, he helped the Wildcat football program to its first-ever No. 1 national ranking as a senior in 1998, and, in that same year, he was the Heisman Trophy runner up and the Davey O’Brien Award Winner. A 1998 Consensus All-American, he still holds the K-State season passing efficiency record after a 159.6 rating in addition to the season total offense mark at 3,592 yards. 
He helped K-State break a 30-year losing streak to Nebraska in 1998 – a favorite memory of his, he says – where he became the first player in Big 12 history to throw for 300 yards and rush for 100. In his two seasons in the Little Apple, Bishop led K-State to a 22-3 record and racked up 5,715 yards of total offense, second in school history to only Lynn Dickey.
He also set a school record of 59 career touchdowns – a pretty impressive mark for a guy who was overlooked as a quarterback.
What Bishop did for the K-State football program was nothing short of extraordinary, so, his induction into the Ring of Honor this past weekend was much anticipated. 
His name, along with the Ring of Honor’s 13 other members, is now forever etched upon Bill Snyder Family Stadium, and his story will be shared as one of K-State’s finest for years to come. 
“I got the call and they told me I was going into (the Ring of Honor), and when I hung up the phone, I shed a tear because I was so happy to know that all my hard work paid off,” said Bishop with a smile. “It’s something that can never be taken away from me. As long as this stadium is here, my name will be up there. It’s a great feeling.”
At halftime of the Wildcats’ 34-0 home-opening win over South Dakota last weekend, Bishop, as well as the newest inductees of Jordy Nelson (2004-07), Darren Sproles (2001-04) and Clarence Scott (1968-70), were honored at midfield and their names, displayed in big, purple letters on the east side of the stadium, were unveiled for all to see. 
“It’s a great feeling because you cried in that locker room, you sweat on that field, you jumped and you cheered in this stadium, so being a part of all that, at the end of the day, now seeing my name up there, it’s amazing,” said Bishop. “I know the things I had to go through to get to this point, the things I had to go through on the field, the great teammates that helped me get to this point. Without them, my name wouldn’t be up there. If I didn’t have those 10 guys out there on the field with me, it would have never happened.”
Though he lives back home in Texas now, he said he runs into K-Staters quite often. 
And when he does, he never passes up the opportunity to talk about his alma mater.
“When I drive down the road, I see K-State stickers on cars all the time – K-State is everywhere now and that’s a great thing,” he began. “If I see a decal on a car, I’ll stop and say, ‘Hey, you went to K-State?’ then they’ll nod and I tell them I went to K-State too.”
Bishop laughed before continuing – he often holds back before letting people know who he is.
“So we get to talking and I never say anything about football, I just listen to their stories about K-State,” he continued. “Then, I’ll get to a point when I tell them I played QB from ‘97 to ‘98, and to see the looks that I get, it’s awesome. I have fun with it.”
Bishop’s days at K-State are days he is proud of. During his two years in Manhattan, he made life-long friends and became a very special member of the K-State family.
He stayed committed to playing quarterback, seized the opportunity K-State gave him and made the most of it. 
So now, when he runs into K-Staters back home in Texas, he can add one more thing to his impressive resume: he’s a K-State Football Ring of Honor inductee. 
“Choosing K-State was one of the best decisions I made in my life,” he closed. “I’m glad I listened to Coach Snyder and Coach Mo. I’m glad I believed in them. Now, I’m thankful to them because I had the opportunity to come out here to Manhattan, Kansas, and play football in front of the greatest fans in the nation.”
K-State Sports Extra will continue its four-part series on this year’s Ring of Honor Inductees with part two tomorrow. Stay tuned for upcoming stories about Clarence Scott, Jordy Nelson and Darren Sproles.

We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Kelly McHugh, or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.