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Asti: Transfer DB Beanie Bishop Will Boost WVU Football in Multiple Ways



WVU DB Beanie Bishop with Minnesota.

The addition of Minnesota transfer defensive back Beanie Bishop will serve as a boost for WVU in multiple ways.

Bishop’s commitment comes about a month after receiving an offer from the Mountaineers. He will not only provide much-needed experience to the West Virginia secondary, but also serve as another returner option special teams wise.

It’s no secret that WVU was looking to bring in transfer players who could help the secondary immediately for the 2023 season. And even though a corner like Montre Miller was already in the fold, head coach Neal Brown revealed he still wanted to secure another cornerback or safety in the portal.

WVU HC Neal Brown Reveals Which Positions He Still Plans to Pursue in Transfer Portal

Gaining a commitment from the 5-foot-10 and 185-pound Bishop doesn’t mean West Virginia is finished in their work in the portal, but it does check a couple boxes for the Mountaineers. Bishop only has one year of eligibility left, making him simply a player brought in for 2023. But he brings something not every transfer player does, a road so well traveled that he’s seen it all in college football.

Beanie Bishop’s Experience Could Make Him a Leader for WVU

Bishop was with the Golden Gophers for one season, totaling 29 tackles (20 solo), one sack and one pass breakup while playing in all 13 games. Prior to Minnesota, Bishop spent four years at Western Kentucky, playing in 36 career games. This means he knows what it’s like to be the star of a team and also be apart of a group in a major conference.

His time in the Big Ten will create the possibility of joining safety Aubrey Burks as a leader for the WVU secondary, and maybe even Sean Martin as a leader for the defense as a whole.

Overall throughout his college career, he’s compiled 76 tackles (8.5 tackles for loss), 12 passes defended, three interceptions and one forced fumble. Bishop also returned 32 kickoffs for 799 total yards.

Add Beanie Bishop to Returner Competition Mix

Bishop’s work as a returner is the bonus. Special teams coordinator Jeff Koonz has made it known that finding the right returner for the Mountaineers is one of the main tasks placed on his shoulders this offseason. Having Bishop now gives him another option to consider.

Fellow newcomers wide receiver Ja’Shaun Poke and Montre Miller both have experience returning kicks and punts. Koonz has actually even called Poke out as someone who could be a solid option. But Bishop can do it as well. And since field position was an issue for WVU in 2022, West Virginia won’t hesitate to switch things up at either returner role if a change is necessary.

Jeff Koonz Details Plan for Special Teams, Sees Ja’Shaun Poke as Solid Returner Option

In fact, the possibilities for the kickoff returner role are endless. “We’re trying to build a big pool, as many as we can. We’ve got a bunch of guys, a bunch of our running backs — Justin Johnson, Tony Mathis, Jaylen Andseron — bigger guys, tougher to tackle, along with Poke, (Andrew) Wilson-Lamp a guy that can truly run. Davis Mallinger will be another guy that’s gonna have that opportunity,” said Koonz when asked about who could try out returning kickoffs.

The punt returner position may be more clear, but no spot is totally safe on a team ready to turn over every stone to improve. “Punt return, Preston has picked up where he left off, I think he got to the end of the year there where we saw what he can do against Oklahoma State when he’s given a seam… so he’s kinda been the bell cow on that,” Koonz said. Bishop can now be included in that mix as well.


There’s just no denying that Beanie Bishop has so much upside. He could end up as one of the best additions for this West Virginia team.

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