It wasn't long ago that Pendleton's Stephen Bisnett was helping the Buckaroos win football games.

Just three years removed from high school, Bisnett has worked into a starting role, helping the Arizona State Sun Devils win.

After playing in four games last year, Bisnett started on special teams in no. 22 ranked ASU's home opener against UTEP and had the first tackle this season for the Sun Devils.

"It was a great feeling, and I was just glad to be in there," Bisnett said.

ASU head coach Dirk Koetter awards three game balls after each game and Bisnett was the recipient of a ball for his efforts on special teams in ASU's 41-9 victory over UTEP Sept. 2.

"I was pretty surprised," Bisnett said. "Coach hands a ball out for offense, defense and special teams, and it was pretty cool."

Last season, Bisnett saw limited action against Oregon, Washington State, Arizona and he had a tackle against Washington State.

The walk-on redshirted his freshman season, but continued to utilize the weight room and work on techniques to earn a starting spot with the team.

"It has been frustrating at times, but I've tried to stay positive and take everything in stride," Bisnett said. "I want to continue with special teams, but I also want to earn time as a wide receiver."

Bisnett runs a 4.4 second 40-yard dash, but has yet to see time as a wide receiver and is No. 5 on the team's depth chart.

"I'm just going to stick with it and grind it out," Bisnett said. "I have to improve my speed, my hands and hold my routes."

Stephen's father Roger, who owns Bisnett Swaggart & Scott Insurance in Pendleton, attended the ASU home opener.

"It was pretty amazing to see him on the field and play well," Roger said. "We're pretty happy for him and very proud of how hard he's worked to earn a spot on the team."

Stephen wasn't only a standout on the Buckaroos football team. But he was also one of the Intermountain Conference's best players. He averaged 10.5 yards per carry as Pendleton's running back and was named the team's most valuable player on offense.

During Stephen's senior season, he helped lead the Buckaroos to a 9-1 regular season. Pendleton finished tied with Redmond and Hermiston for the IMC regular season title and advanced to the Class 4A quarterfinals.

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