There aren’t many schools in the country, if any, that can claim a better linebacker than Michigan. Devin Bush Jr. cemented his status as a top tier playmaker in his first season as a starter. That performance might have surprised some not familiar with his background. But for those that did know Bush, they knew it was in the works. His name alone might register with college football fans, as he is the son of former Florida State standout Devin Bush Sr.
Son Of An NFL Standout
For most young boys who have dads playing in the NFL players there comes a sense of pressure to live up to the name of your father. Growing up as Devin Bush, Jr. meant hearing about the legacy of his father. The younger Bush admitted that his father never forced him to play football and he naturally gravitated to the game. The accomplishments of his father show why it wouldn’t be hard for junior to grow to like the game. His father arrived at Florida State in 1992 and was a part of a group that won three straight ACC Championships. As a sophomore he would become the starting safety on the first national championship team in the school’s history. By the end of his junior season, he had back-to-back All-ACC honors and was a first round pick by the Atlanta Falcons.
In addition to his accomplishments, Bush Sr. appeared in two Super Bowls in his eight year NFL career. All the while his son was able to see these feats from a first hand perspective. After deciding to retire, Bush Jr. would have the best teacher possible right next to him.
Stepping Out of The Shadow
Once Devin Bush Jr. became a teenager and was moving on to high school, he attended Flanagan High School. The timing was perfect as his father had just became the new head coach of the football team. It was evident that he was his father’s child by the way he played. Other than playing different positions, Bush Jr. at middle linebacker opposed to his father that played safety, the similarities were strong. The physicality, the speed, and the ability to diagnose a play quickly were all commonalities between the father and son.
Those traits are what made Bush so coveted by colleges and an Under Armour All-American in his senior season. Many believed that when the decision to pick a school came, he would follow his father’s footsteps to Florida State. His father put that talk to a halt by always encouraging his son to make the decision of where he was most comfortable. His son did just that by spurning the Seminoles and committing to Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines.
With the pressure of a college decision behind him, Bush made sure to leave high school on top. He would lead his team to victory in the Florida 8A state championship, the first in the school’s history. After the game, Devin Bush found his father for a memorable embrace.
Patience and Opportunity
After finishing his high school career, Bush elected to graduate early so that he could enroll at Michigan a semester early. He would participate in spring ball in order to compete for playing time in hopes that he could play early. Once the season arrived he was slotted as the number two guy at weakside linebacker. Most of his snaps during the season would come from special teams or late in blowout games. The freshman continued to play hard and demonstrate that he would excel in any role he was given. He learned plenty as a freshman watching a senior heavy group on defense and knew his time wouldn’t be too far.
— Michigan Moments (@UofMMoments) July 12, 2018
When the spring of his sophomore season arrived, Bush was slated to be the new starter. After enrolling early the year before, his knowledge of the scheme was much more enhanced. He also enhanced his diet, which in return changed his overall physique and now looked prepared for his new role.
The first game of the year would be against the University of Florida. It didn’t take long for Bush Jr. to make his mark. In fact, he stole the show. He finished with seven tackles, three of which were for a loss, and two sacks. Performances such as that became the norm and within just the first four games Bush had 32 tackles and four sacks. By season’s end he would lead the Big Ten in pass breakups by a linebacker. He finally added an interception against Wisconsin.
Devin Bush eyeing the ball for the INT pic.twitter.com/TR2YqarWEq
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 18, 2017
The recognition didn’t end there as he was named as a Butkis Award finalist, the award for the nation’s top linebacker. Although he didn’t win the award, he was the youngest of the finalists. He would also be named Third Team All-American by the Associated Press in his first season as a starter.
Devin Bush Jr. returns to Michigan in his third season with many decorations. This could also be his final season in college as he has already been called one of the top linebackers to watch. It’s clear to see why with his ability to run sideline to sideline and also deliver the blow upon arrival.
Devin Bush re: ‘de-cleater’: “Had to get him back.. he chopped me. You can’t catch the ball if you’re on the floor.” pic.twitter.com/s1QKMNzSLK
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) September 26, 2017
— Ace Anbender (@AceAnbender) September 27, 2017
Bush, Jr. is not only another member of his family to excel at football; he’s yet another product that highlights the deep well of football talent from Broward County.
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