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Shrine Bowl Interview: West Virginia CB Beanie Bishop Proof Hard Work Pays Off


One of the most productive cornerbacks in the country last season, West Virginia CB Beanie Bishop accomplished his goal of becoming an All-American and played an impressive 95% of the snaps for the Mountaineers in 2023. He led the nation in passes defensed, and along with C Zach Frazier, a name Steelers fans are more familiar with, was named an AP All-American, with Bishop making the AP’s Second Team, while Frazier made the Third Team.

While Bishop got the recognition he deserved this season, he wasn’t always looked at as a top player. He came out of high school as a two-star recruit, and he had stops at Western Kentucky and Minnesota before finding a home in West Virginia. During an interview with Steelers Depot at the East-West Shrine Bowl, Bishop dove into his career, his mindset on the field, and his hatred of Pitt.

At 5091 and 182 pounds, Bishop profiles as a slot corner at the NFL level. He said he watches a lot of tape on Nate Hobbs of the Las Vegas Raiders and Kenny Moore of the Indianapolis Colts, and he said he can take a lot from Moore since they’re around the same size.

Bishop began his career at Western Kentucky, but after making the All-Conference USA First Team in 2021, his coach told him to go be a Power Five player. He transferred to Minnesota, but things didn’t go as planned.

“The opportunities and things wasn’t what I wanted to be as far as production and things like that. I decided that I needed to make a change and go somewhere where I’ll be able to get my hand on the ball, and that led me to West Virginia. Big 12, they pass the ball a lot, and my production went way up. Having 60 tackles, 20 pass breakups, and four interceptions, it explains the difference between playing in the Big 10 and the Big 12, especially for a cornerback.”

Bishop made sure he had every opportunity he could to get his hand on the ball, playing a whopping 95% of West Virginia’s defensive snaps. He preached the benefits of recovery and taking care of your body as a reason why he was able to stay on the field and stay productive.

“Taking care of my body is a big thing. Getting in the cold tub, every day I either get in the cold tub, we had cryotherapy chambers and things like that, and just being fresh and stretching and doing hurdles and things like that to keep my hips loose and using band stretching,” Bishop said.

He credited the facilities at West Virginia for allowing him to be able to take care of his body as much as possible, as well as the strength and conditioning coaches at the school for helping him maximize his potential. It helped him have an All-American season, accomplishing a goal he set for himself.

“That was one of the goals I had set for myself when I got to West Virginia,” Bishop said. “I kind of told myself, this year, I want to be an All-American. I kept that goal to myself, though. I didn’t want to broadcast that out in front of everybody. But I believed in myself, and the coaching staff believed in me, and my family members believed in me. And it was just a huge thing to be the 13th consensus All-American in West Virginia football history. It’s huge, and to be recognized it just shows the kind of work I put in.”

Bishop got his first experience in the Backyard Brawl between West Virginia and Pitt this season, a game West Virginia won 17-6, with Bishop picking off a pass in the win. He said watching the video of the 2022 game “made my blood boil,” and he was ready for the game this year.

“That’s why I have so much hatred toward the University of Pittsburgh,” Bishop said, adding he told his Shrine Bowl roommate M.J. Devonshire, a former Pitt cornerback, how much he hates it. “That game is different. I say that both teams genuinely hate each other. It’s no friendly battles. They hate us, we hate them. We hate them probably a little more.”

Bishop said it’s a real hatred rivalry, unlike a friendly rivalry like The Battle of The Axe between Minnesota and Wisconsin, another rivalry he had a chance to take part in. With how much Bishop embraced the hatred of Pitt in just one season at West Virginia, if he ends up on the Steelers or the Ravens, he might be the sort of player to really lean into that rivalry.

As a two-star recruit turned All-American, Bishop recognizes that he’s been overlooked throughout his career. Of his three D1 offers coming out of high school, two of them were FCS offers. Bishop now knows that he proved it’s not about talent, it’s about how hard you work when it comes to finding and making your own success.

“I don’t ever think it was about talent. It was about who can last the longest, is what I feel like. The guy that works the hardest that lasts the longest, you gotta be willing to do things that other guys don’t do. Like taking care of your body, maybe staying a little extra, maybe getting into the building a little earlier, maybe studying film a little longer. Just different things and I always go back to the things that’s at home. I don’t have the luxury life of living in the big house or anything like that. I kind of had to move to different places, I had to live with different family members. Life wasn’t always as peachy. So that’s just why I work as hard because I know I didn’t come from the glitz and the glam and having as much ability as anyone else,” Bishop said.

He credited watching his mom work to provide for the family growing up as something that helped with his own work ethic.

“Kind of seeing my mom try to provide for three boys, working all day, getting back late at night, doing the same thing to provide food and keep the lights and stuff on and things like that.”

One thing was clear in talking to Bishop, and that was that he will do whatever it takes to succeed in the NFL. He also has return experience and can play special teams, adding to what he can provide as a cornerback. He’s a skilled return man, and that’s something that could be an asset in the NFL. In fact, he took his first collegiate punt return ever to the house.

He’s someone who’s going to work harder than the average athlete to find a way to have success in the NFL.

“If you work hard enough, you’ll accomplish a lot of your goals,” he said after talking about what a dream it would be to play in the NFL.

Bishop wants to make that dream last for as long as he can, and he’s going to work to make that happen. The Steelers could potentially look for a slot corner option in the draft, with Chandon Sullivan an upcoming free agent and the fact that it would still be a need, regardless. Bishop could fit right in as long as he can manage having to share a facility with Pitt.

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