Michigan’s Devin Bush Proving His Value

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Devin Bush Jr.
File photo. Devin Bush #10 of the Michigan Wolverines in action during a game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium on November 18, 2017 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Devin Bush Jr. wears his heart on his sleeve. The Michigan Wolverine linebacker is not afraid to show emotion, demonstrated in his attempt of tearing up the Michigan State logo.

“I just got caught up,” Bush said. “I feel like they took a shot at us and it’s something (I did). … It was pure emotion. I did what I did. I can’t take it back.”

Everything Bush does, which includes standing up for his teammates, highlights the qualities that make him an effective team leader. While his candidness shines through off the field, his power and physicality playing for the Wolverines make him a defensive warrior. Bush’s impressive junior season with Michigan has earned him a finalist spot for the Bronko Nagurski Award as the Defensive Player of the Year, voted by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).

Football Runs In Bush’s Blood

To learn about Devin Bush’s passion for the game of football, look no further than his family. He is the son of Devin Bush Sr., a former safety who played both college and professional football. He was a member of both a national championship and Super Bowl winning teams, assisting Florida State and the St. Louis Rams in their title runs.

“When I got done playing, I didn’t want anything to do with football,” Bush Sr. said. “I had opportunities to coach when I was younger, but I didn’t want to move my family around a lot. I sacrificed my goals at the time for my children.”

Like his father, Bush Jr. took up the game of football when he was six years old. He eventually attended Charles W. Flanagan High School in Pembrooke Pines, Florida. College scouts were quick to express their enthusiasm about how he can become a physical linebacker. He received a full-ride athletic scholarship to play at Florida State, just like his Dad before him. But young Devin opted to attend the University of Michigan, breaking away from family ties to make his own history with a perennial Big Ten program.
When Devin joined the Wolverines, Bush Sr. seized the opportunity to be one of Jim Harbaugh’s defensive coaches, replacing D.J. Durkin who moved on to coach Maryland. It provided the defensive analyst a chance to see his son improve every day and play at a high level.
“To be on the same team with my son, it’s like a dream come true,” he said.

Bush Looking To Lead Michigan To College Football Playoff

From his first game until now, Devin Bush Jr. has made an impact for the Michigan defense. Last season, he was an All-Big Ten linebacker and was a finalist for the Butkus Award. But the 2018 campaign has proven to be Bush Jr’s best, putting him as the top NFL defensive prospect out of Michigan.

This season, Bush Jr. has 60 tackles, with 4.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss. As SMU’s offensive coordinator Troy Walters stated after Michigan’s 45-20 beat down earlier in the season, every college football squad should pay close attention to the star Wolverines linebacker.

“Man, he’s got everything,” Walters said. “Fast, physical, explosive, smart. He knows exactly, based on formations, what you’re going to run. He plays with a relentless effort so he’s always around the ball.”

With Michigan’s win over Indiana last Saturday, they now take on their arch rival Ohio State for a chance to compete in the Big Ten Championship. Harbaugh has never beaten the Buckeyes as the head coach of the Wolverines. For his team to have success, their defense, led by Bush Jr., will need to be explosive to limit the offensive production of Buckeyes quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

The Wolverines have placed a lot of trust into Bush Jr., evidenced by their decision to vote him as co-captain. With his explosive speed and physicality on the field, it is his off the field leadership that make Bush Jr. a player to emulate.

“I am a positive leader” Bush Jr. stated. “I’m always smiling. I am going to lead by example and if I feel like I have to say something, I won’t bite my tongue if I have something to say.”

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