KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - On a normal fall afternoon you can find Jake Bishop on the football field at Hardin Valley high school, giving instructions to the quarterbacks. But it's Jake's instruction off the field that has the largest impact.
Jake leads a solid group of players in a weekly bible study. It's something the players don't take for granted. "I've known Jake for a number of years now and he came in last year and he's really changed the mentality around the locker room and around the team regarding our faith," says Senior Joseph Underwood.
At the young age of 21 Bishop's life is moving in a positive direction, taking classes to earn a degree in Biblical and Thoelogical Studies from Liberty University. The former high school quarterback is more concerned with converting souls than converting on Third Down. "Whether it be in the church or out here with these guys, I try to put Him at the center of everything I do and try to glorify Him through everything I do. So that's just kind of what I want to do with my life. Something that really matters," Bishop says.
Jake's reach extends well beyond the locker room to a world wide audience on Twitter. Bishop has nearly 30,000 followers who hang on his every tweet. The use of this kind of technology only makes sense to Jake, "What better way than social media today to get a message out to a lot of people? So I plan on using it. I want to use it to the best of my abilities."
Jake's growth on Twitter is not something he aspired to. It sort of happened accidentally. He even remembers the day he freaked out after passing 1,000 followers. But it's not just the number of followers Jake has, it's who some of those people are that is turning heads. "Some of the people that are following him on Twitter is really impressive. He's got Hollywood stars and professional athletes and everything else," says Hardin Valley head football coach Wes Jones. The attention, especially from celebrities, is something Jake has not gotten used to. "Like for instance Webb Simpson, someone that I'm sitting there watching win the US Open, and is one of my heroes. Someone who really lives out his faith on a big stage and he's retweeting, basically saying I like what you just said there. It's weird. It really is," Bishop says with a smile.
In a social media society filled with cynicism and sarcasm, Bishop is a genuine guy. A leader with confidence and humility. It's what makes him stand out, even in a cluttered digital age.