It’s official: Bush bolting for NFL

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita But the shocker is Matua’s expected departure, because his draft stock is highly debatable. He never asked the NFL for an evaluation, so no one knows where he would end up in the draft. Matua is expected to meet with USC coaches today. His decision caught the coaching staff off-guard, because he was expected to return for his senior season. “I’m sick and tired of explaining to players you cannot trust somebody putting their hand deep in your pocket,” said offensive line coach Pat Ruel, referring to agents. “Trust the people that care about you like your family.” Ruel ejected several agents hanging around the Heritage Hall lobby before Bush’s press conference. For those keeping score, USC lost Bush and tailback LenDale White in two days. The duo concluded their senior year by setting an NCAA record for most yards gained in a single season (3,042). The old mark of 2,997 was set by Oklahoma State’s Barry Sanders and Gerald Hudson in 1988. USC coach Pete Carroll knew for weeks Bush would leave, but he now faces an unexpectedly hectic weekend. Offensive tackle Winston Justice said he will announce today he will turn pro while safety Darnell Bing remained undecided but was leaning toward entering the draft, according to sources. “He’s 50-50 right now,” secondary coach Greg Burns said. “Now, ‘Thunder and Lightning’ are gone from USC,” Bush said. And the Trojans are waiting for official announcements from Justice, Bing and Matua. There was one bit of good news for the Trojans. As expected, wide receiver Steve Smith officially announced he would return for his senior season. Bush is expected to be selected by the Houston Texans with the No. 1 pick. “If you have a Reggie Bush, he’s an explosive player,” said Texans general manager Charley Casserly. “Hands on the ball, he can score any time he gets it. He can be a runner, he can be a receiver, he can be a returner and he could be a decoy if you will. “All we can say is that what has happened here with Reggie Bush and (Texas quarterback) Vince Young declaring, with the addition of Matt Leinart among other players, is that you have a real strong top of the draft. It means we’re going to get a real good player if we keep the pick, and if we trade the pick, we’ve got certainly a very valuable commodity to trade.” Bush said he didn’t care if the Texans drafted him. “I was going to make my decision on what was best for me,” Bush said. “Not the draft position.” Bush acknowledged there are doubts about his size and whether he can be an every-down player in the NFL. “There are all those questions: Are you big enough, strong enough, fast enough, tough enough?” Bush said. “I’ll have to position myself to have an impact right away, and that will take a lot of hard work. “I’ll be excited to show any critics that I can be an every-down back.” Carroll had no doubts Bush would succeed in the NFL. “He’ll take that talent and wow them there, as a runner, as a receiver, and as a returner,” Carroll said. “Now the Reggie Bush Show goes to Sundays and I can’t wait to watch him there.” Bieniemy interviews UCLA running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Eric Bieniemy interviewed to become the Minnesota Vikings running backs coach on Wednesday. On Thursday, the Vikings named four more assistant coaches but Bieniemy was not among them. Bieniemy is the only person believed to have interviewed for the running backs position. New Vikings coach Brad Childress, a friend of Bieniemy’s, has worked quickly to assemble a staff. UCLA note from staff writer Jill Painter. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img USC tailback Reggie Bush’s announcement to turn pro lacked so much suspense Thursday, it figured the day needed a twist. And it came when sources said offensive lineman Fred Matua planned to announce Saturday he would leave for the NFL. Bush, perhaps the most-exciting player in USC history, surprised no one with his announcement, but there was so much interest the university locked the doors to Heritage Hall to keep out autograph seekers. “It’s a sad time and at the same time, it’s a happy time,” Bush said. “I did think about shocking everyone (and staying) but obviously I didn’t. I was more nervous today than winning the Heisman Trophy.” last_img

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