Former Washington great Greg Lewis took the stage Wednesday night at Benaroya Hall to help present the Male Sports Star of the Year award, for which Bishop Sankey was a finalist.
The Seahawks’ Russell Wilson won the award, but not before Lewis proclaimed to the crowd that Sankey had proved himself last season as the best running back in UW history.
“But,” Lewis added, “I’m still the best looking.”
Sankey looked sharp Wednesday in a crisp gray suit. He was back in town for the show after spending the past couple weeks training in San Diego, six days a week, with Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey and Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks, among others, as they prepare for next month’s NFL Combine and look ahead to May’s NFL Draft.
More from Sankey before the show:
What does it mean to be nominated for this award in Seattle? “It feels good to be back for the awards ceremony. It’s just an honor to be considered with these other great athletes here, and I’m just taking it all in, really.”
What have you been up to since the Fight Hunger Bowl and since you announced you’d be turning pro? “I’ve been down in San Diego training with a few other guys. It’s going good so far as far as the transition, but at the same time I’m just learning as much as I can each and every day and trying to get better each and every day. That’s really where I’m at right now.”
It’s still early in the process, but what are you learning about the process and what kind of feedback are you getting? “Right now, my main focus is the combine and the pro day — just getting physically prepared as well as mentally prepared for those two things. Really just trying to take everything in. Meeting new people, learning new stuff. It is a process, but it’s been a good one so far. … It’s been fun. I’m not on a team or anything yet, so I’m just focusing on me and trying to get better.”
One of the knocks I’ve heard about you is (lack of) “breakaway speed.” What have you heard from scouts, and is that one thing you feel you need to improve? “Yeah, that’s one thing I’ve been focusing on, really showing that I can run fast and run a great 40 (-yard dash). Also the agility tests and three-cone (drill) and the shuttle — all those things, I’m just trying to sharpen each of them up. But everybody knows the big thing is the 40 and everybody wants to run a fast 40. I’ve been getting better each day and getting faster, especially with the technique stuff. People don’t realize there’s a lot of technique that goes into the 40; it’s not just getting out there and running.
Is there a 40 time you’re shooting for? Shoot, I’m shooting for the stars, so I’m trying for a 4.4. I hit that time when I was at UW my freshman year.
You not only set a school record in rushing yards this season but also in carries — and yet you seemed to hold up remarkably well. Did that surprise you? “That’s one of the things being a running back, we have a lot of carries and take a lot of hits. But I’m feeling good right now. It’s just a blessing that I feel so good at the end of the year. Nothing serious has happened. I couldn’t be more thankful than that.