Bishop Sankey
Sankey with the Tennessee Titans in 2014
No. 20, 33
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1992-09-15) September 15, 1992 (age 29)
Wadsworth, Ohio
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:213 lb (97 kg)
Career information
High school:Spokane (WA) Gonzaga Prep
NFL Draft:2014 / Round: 2 / Pick: 54
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:762
Rushing average:3.8
Rushing touchdowns:3
Receiving yards:272
Receiving touchdowns:1
Player stats at

Bishop Sankey (born September 15, 1992) is a former American football running back. He was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Sankey played college football at Washington. He has also been a member of the New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Fleet, and Toronto Argonauts.

Early years

Born in 1992 in Wadsworth, Ohio, to Julie Anne Becker and Christopher Daniel Sankey, Bishop spent his early years with his mother, Julie, and grandparents, William and Carol Becker, in Wadsworth, Ohio until age 7.[1][2] He moved with his father, a non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force to Fairchild AFB near Spokane, Washington, when Sankey was in the eighth grade, relocating from Wright-Patterson AFB near Dayton, Ohio.[3] He finished that school year in 2007 at the middle school in Cheney, then enrolled as a freshman at Gonzaga Prep in Spokane and graduated in 2011.[1] As a sophomore in 2008, the Bullpups compiled an 8-2 record. That season, Sankey rushed for 526 yards while splitting time in the backfield, averaging 10.5 yards per carry. He earned All-Greater Spokane League first-team and All-State Class 4A honorable mention as a junior, amassing 2,011 yards with 17 rushing touchdowns in nine contests. He opened the season with four 200-yard rushing performances and by midseason, he had shattered the previous school record of 1,299 yards on the ground by Tim Lappano in 1974. As a senior, Sankey established league and district season and career rushing records. He totaled 2,518 yards with 33 touchdowns on 281 carries (8.96 ypc), becoming the only player in district annals to produce a pair of "top ten" rushing seasons on the annual record chart. That season would see him gain 359 yards against Mead, the third-highest game total in GSL annals. Sankey closed out his career as the state and Greater Spokane League record-holder with 4,355 yards rushing. His 198 points scored set another season mark and his career total of 306 points rank third. He was named the Inland Northwest amateur athlete of the year for his efforts.[4] Following his senior season, Sankey was invited to perform at the U.S. Army National Combine, attended by over 500 players, where he recorded a 20-yard shuttle time of 3.90, the second-best at the event, while his 4.4 clocking in the 40-yard dash was also the best for any player in attendance.[5]

Sankey was also a member of the Gonzaga Prep track and field team, where he performed as a sprinter and as a member of the relay teams, in addition to performing as a jumper. As a sophomore, he recorded season-bests of 11.40 in the 100 meters at the Jesuit Twilight Outdoor Relays,[6] along with a 6.43-meter (21'1") long jump and a 12.48-meter (40'11.25") triple jump in Greater Spokane League competition.[7] He also ran a leg on the Bullpups' 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 relay teams. The following season, Sankey again starred for the school's outdoor track team. He posted a season-best 11.28 seconds in the 100 meters at the GSL District Meet,[8] and 23.21 in the 200 meters at the regionals,[9] followed by a 400-meter clocking of 54.84.[10] As a senior, he boasted season-best times of 11.54 in the 100 meters, 23.94 in the 200 and 55.14 in the 400. He also ran a leg on the 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams that placed second in both events at the Ray Cockrum Relays.[11]

Regarded as a four-star recruit by, Sankey initially gave a "soft verbal" commitment to Washington State University as a junior in December 2009,[1] then changed his mind as a senior - “on letter of intent day” & accepted a scholarship from head coach Steve Sarkisian to play football at the University of Washington.[12]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Bishop Sankey
Wadsworth, Ohio Gonzaga Preparatory School 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 183 lb (83 kg) 4.4 Jan 26, 2011 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 35 (RB)   Rivals: 19 (RB); 5 (WA); 235 (national)
  • ‡ Refers to 40 yard dash
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height, weight and 40 time.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


  • "2011 Washington Football Commitment List". Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  • "2011 Team Ranking". Retrieved November 26, 2016.

College career

Sankey appeared in 38 games for the Washington Huskies, starting his last 25 contests. He carried the ball 644 times for 3,496 yards (third-most in Huskies' history) and scored 37 touchdowns on the ground, while also adding 567 yards and one more score on 67 receptions (8.46 ypc) and 134 yards on seven kickoff returns (19.14 avg) for a total of 4,197 all-purpose yards (110.45 ypg). In 2013, with a 200-yard game against Washington State in the Apple Cup, he finished the game and the regular season with 1,775 yards for the season, breaking Corey Dillon's 1996 record of 1,695 yards. On the same play on which he passed Dillon, a seven-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, he also broke Napoleon Kaufman's school career rushing touchdowns record, with his 35th. He decided to forego his senior season and enter the NFL draft in January 2013.

Freshman season

See also: 2011 Washington Huskies football team

After rushing for 2,518 yards as a senior in high school, Sankey only carried the ball 28 times as a true freshman at Washington in 2011, but made the most of his limited chances as he gained 187 yards, an average of 6.68 yards per attempt. He scored just once, but had big carries that set up eight touchdown drives and key receptions that resulted in two more scoring marches for the Huskies. Nine of Sankey's carries resulted in first downs, with eight of those gaining at least 10 yards. He also added six receptions and in the Alamo Bowl's wild 67-56 loss to Baylor, and also handled kickoff return duties.

Sophomore season

See also: 2012 Washington Huskies football team

With Chris Polk having left for the National Football League, the Huskies opened the 2012 campaign with Sankey in a reserve role. When junior halfback Jesse Callier was injured in Washington's first game against San Diego State, Sankey stepped into the starting lineup the next week and never relinquished his role with the first unit. He was the MVP of the 2012 Maaco Bowl Las Vegas after rushing for 205 yards and 74 receiving yards on six receptions.[13] Sankey ended up rushing for 1,439 yards on 289 carries (4.98 ypc), both rank third on the school season-record chart. His 16 touchdown runs are surpassed by only Corey Dillon (who had 24 touchdowns in 1996) on the Huskies annual record list.[14] Sankey averaged 110.69 yards per game on the ground, the 19th-best average in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision ranks that year. He also served as a safety valve for quarterback Keith Price, catching 16 of the 22 passes targeted to him, good for 249 yards. He led the team in scoring with 96 points and registered 1,688 all-purpose yards, the seventh-best figure by a Husky in a season.[15]

Junior season

See also: 2013 Washington Huskies football team

After being named one of the team's offensive captains, Sankey rewarded his teammates for that honor when he exploded for 161 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries in the 2013 season opener against Boise State. He also came up with other big carries that set up two more touchdown drives, along with a big reception that led to a field goal. With his mother, aunts and uncles in the stands at Chicago's Soldier Field, Sankey exploded for a career-best 208 yards and a touchdown on a career-high 35 carries against Illinois. He would establish school career and season records when he again reached the 200-yard rushing level in the 2013 Apple Cup against Washington State. During his junior season, Sankey also proved to be a highly capable blocker, registering seventy-six knockdowns and 10 touchdown-resulting blocks. [15]

Sankey entered the 2014 NFL Draft after his junior season.[16]


Rushing Receiving
Year Team Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds TD
  2011   Washington 28 187 6.7 33 1 6 14 0
2012   Washington   289 1,439 5.0 61 16 33 249 0
2013 Washington 327 1,870 5.7 60 20 28 304 1
Career 644 3,496 5.4 61 37 67 567 1

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
5 ft 9+12 in
(1.77 m)
209 lb
(95 kg)
31 in
(0.79 m)
10 in
(0.25 m)
4.49 s 1.53 s 2.61 s 4.00 s 6.75 s 3512 10 ft 6 in
(3.20 m)
26 reps
All values from NFL Combine[17]

Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans selected Sankey in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.[18][19] Chosen with the 54th overall pick, he was the first running back off the board, the latest for a first running back in the history of the NFL Draft.[20][21]

On June 17, 2014, Sankey signed a four-year contract with the Titans. Sankey scored his first NFL touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts on September 28, 2014. Sankey finished his rookie season with 569 yards on 152 carries and two touchdowns. Sankey recorded an additional 133 receiving yards on 18 receptions.[22]

Sankey opened the 2015 season with a career-high 74 yards on 12 carries and one touchdown. However following Week 6, Sankey would only receive eight carries for 34 yards and six receptions and was a healthy scratch three times.[23] Sankey started only three games in 2015, down from the previous year’s nine.[24]

On September 2, 2016, Sankey was released by the Titans as part of final roster cuts.[25] Sankey started 12 of the 29 games he played for the Titans, totaling 199 rushes, 762 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. He also added 32 receptions on 45 targets for 272 yards (8.5 yards per catch) and a score through the air from 2014–15.

New England Patriots

On September 5, 2016, Sankey was signed to the New England Patriots' practice squad.[26]

Kansas City Chiefs

On November 1, 2016, Sankey was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs off the Patriots' practice squad.[27] He was released by the Chiefs on November 22, 2016.[28]

Minnesota Vikings

On November 25, 2016, Sankey was signed to the Vikings' practice squad.[29] He signed a reserve/futures contract with the Vikings on January 2, 2017.[30]

In the first game of the 2017 preseason, Sankey tore his ACL and was ruled out for the season.[31]

NFL statistics

Season Team Games Rushing Fumbles Receiving Kick return
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD FUM Lost Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Ret Yds Avg Lng TD
2014 TEN 16 9 152 569 3.7 22 2 2 2 18 133 7.4 41 0 7 198 28.3 42 0
2015 TEN 13 3 47 193 4.1 16 1 2 1 14 139 9.9 30 1 9 192 21.3 34 0
Total 29 12 199 762 3.8 22 3 4 3 32 272 8.5 30 1 16 390 24.4 42 0

*Sankey was on the Chiefs active roster for 3 games during the 2016 season and was inactive for all 3 games

San Diego Fleet

On September 5, 2018, Sankey signed with San Diego Fleet of the Alliance of American Football for the 2019 season.[32] He suffered an injury before the season began and was placed on the roster exempt list,[33] a designation that later became injured reserve. He was promoted to the active roster on March 4.[34] In the remaining 4 games prior to the AAF's bankruptcy, Sankey recorded 119 yards on 30 rushing attempts, as well as 5 receptions for 20 yards.[35] The league ceased operations in April 2019.[36]

Toronto Argonauts

With two weeks remaining in the 2019 CFL season, Sankey was signed to the practice roster by the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.[37] He signed a contract extension with the Argonauts on December 28, 2020.[38] He retired from football on July 10, 2021.[39]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Lee, Greg (September 22, 2010). "G-Prep's Sankey on a roll". Spokesman-Review. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  2. ^ Bell, Gregg (August 20, 2014). "Unleashed: Inside The Great Unknown, Bishop Sankey". Archived from the original on July 12, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  3. ^ Siemon, Dean (October 2, 2013). "Military backgrounds set local Huskies apart". Northwest Guardian. Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  4. ^ "GSL Football All-Time Records: Rushing". Greater Spokane League. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  5. ^ "The book on: Bishop Sankey".
  6. ^ "Jesuit Twilight Relays - Track & Field Meet".[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "GSL 4A District Meet - Track & Field Meet".
  8. ^ "GSL Districts Day 2 - Track & Field Meet".
  9. ^ "GSL\CBBN Regionals Day 1 - Track & Field Meet".
  10. ^ "Ferris/Shadle/G-Prep/NWC Jamboree - Track & Field Meet".
  11. ^ "Ray Cockrum Relays - Track & Field Meet".[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Last time Washington, Boise State met in Las Vegas, Bishop Sankey ruled | the Spokesman-Review".
  13. ^ "Maaco Bowl notebook: UW's Sankey earns MVP honors in loss". Idaho Press-Tribune. December 23, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  14. ^ Jude, Adam (August 10, 2013). "Bishop Sankey, UW's humble star, shines on field and in the classroom". Seattle Times. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  15. ^ a b Brewer, Jerry (November 29, 2013). "Huskies' Bishop Sankey does it all – except brag". Seattle Times. Archived from the original on January 26, 2014. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  16. ^ Fornelli, Tom (December 30, 2013). "Washington RB Bishop Sankey to enter NFL Draft". CBS Sports. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  17. ^ "*Bishop Sankey – Washington, RB : 2014 NFL Draft Scout External News".
  18. ^ Jude, Adam (May 9, 2014). "UW's Bishop Sankey becomes first running back drafted, heads to Tennessee Titans". Seattle Times. Husky football blog. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  19. ^ Jude, Adam (May 9, 2014). "UW's Bishop Sankey 'pumped' to play for the Tennessee Titans". Seattle Times. Husky football blog. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  20. ^ Reyes, Lorenzo (May 10, 2014). "Bishop Sankey, Titans end NFL draft's historic RB drought". USA Today. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  21. ^ Wyatt, Jim (May 9, 2014). "Bishop Sankey picked by Titans in second round". The Tennessean. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  22. ^ "Bishop Sankey". Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  23. ^ "Bishop Sankey". Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  24. ^ "Bishop Sankey NFL Football Statistics |". Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  25. ^ Wyatt, Jim (September 2, 2016). "Titans Down to 53 Players: A Position-by-Position Look". Archived from the original on August 7, 2017.
  26. ^ "Patriots sign eight players to the practice squad". September 5, 2016. Archived from the original on September 16, 2017.
  27. ^ Thorman, Joel (November 1, 2016). "Chiefs sign RB Bishop Sankey". Arrowhead Pride. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  28. ^ "Chiefs Waive RB Bishop Sankey". November 22, 2016.
  29. ^ Ratke, Kyle (November 25, 2016). "Vikings sign RB Bishop Sankey to practice squad". VikingsWire.
  30. ^ Peters, Craig (January 2, 2017). "Vikings Sign 9 Practice Squad Players to Futures Contracts". Archived from the original on September 6, 2017.
  31. ^ Williams, Charean (August 11, 2017). "Report: Bishop Sankey tears ACL".
  32. ^ Nguyen, Alexander (September 5, 2018). "San Diego AAF Team Signs Former Washington Quarterback". Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  33. ^ Goldberg, Jeff (January 30, 2019). "'It's Go time': Roster in place, Fleet excited for season debut". Alliance of American Football. Archived from the original on February 2, 2019. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  34. ^ Gartin, Zachary (March 4, 2019). "San Diego Fleet Make a Flurry of Roster Moves in Response to Injuries". East Village Times. Archived from the original on March 6, 2019. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  35. ^ "Bishop Sankey".
  36. ^ Michael Rothstein, Seth Wickersham (June 13, 2019). "Inside the short, unhappy life of the Alliance of American Football". Retrieved September 12, 2019.
  37. ^ "Argos acquire a Bishop as chess game for 2020 adds a new piece".
  38. ^ "Bladek extension among 11 Argos transactions". December 28, 2020. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  39. ^ Toronto Argonauts Media Relations [@ArgonautsMR] (July 10, 2021). "AME RB Bishop Sankey has retired" (Tweet). Retrieved July 10, 2021 – via Twitter.