For the last several months dating
back to early summer, the Bluegrass State’s biggest name in football
recruiting has not been closely associated with the Kentucky Wildcats.
That player, Louisville Male’s
Michael Bush, was widely rumored as a lock for the hometown
Cardinals, but the winds may be shifting a bit for the ultra-talented
Bush (6-3, 225, 4.45) is once
again naming UK among his list of favorites and maintains that it’s not just
a passing interest or polite gesture on his part.
“I’ve never really eliminated
Rivals100 team and the No. 3 athlete in the nation.
“A lot of people may have thought that, but I’m still seriously looking at
“They’ve shown me a lot this
year. They’re an exciting, winning team with a great offense. Coach (Guy)
Morriss seems like he’s got them going in the right direction.”
A leading contender for both the
Mr. Football and Mr. Basketball awards, Bush wants to play each sport on the
college level. As a junior he dominated both sports, establishing himself as
one of the nation’s premier two-sport prospects. On the football field, he
earned votes for the all-state team at four different positions (QB, RB, WR,
LB) after catching 64 passes for 1,090 yards and 17 touchdowns, rushing for
401 yards and 10 touchdowns as passing for 534 yards and three more scores.
On the basketball court, he averaged 19 points and eight rebounds for the
The top six teams on his list have
all ensured him he would be able to attempt his goal of playing football and
“Right now, I’m looking at
Louisville, Kentucky, Ohio State, Auburn, Tennessee and Wake Forest,” he
said. “I don’t have any of my official visits set up, but there’s no real
hurry on that. I want to get the season wrapped up first. No one is
pressuring me to do that, so I don’t have to make a quick decision or
Although he’s categorized as an
“athlete,” Bush makes it clear he wants to play quarterback. He said all of
the teams on his list have guaranteed him that’s where he’ll be given the
first opportunity to play.
“It’s the only position I’m
interested in playing,” he said. “I made sure that all of these teams will
give me that chance. At first some of them were talking about other
positions, but once they got a chance to see my film or watch me in person,
I think they were a lot more impressed with me at quarterback. I feel like
I’ve really developed and improved as the season has gone along.”
One stumbling block in that regard for Kentucky is the likely return of Jared Lorenzen for his senior season, junior-to-be Shane Boyd backing him up, and one of the nation's highest-rated prep quarterbacks in the Class of 2003, Andre Woodson of North Hardin, already committed to the Cats.
Louisville has a strong shot at
Bush with senior quarterback Dave Ragone departing after this season and no
high-profile backup waiting in the wings.
“I feel like I’d have a chance to
step in there and play real early,” he said. “I know I’d have to compete for
the job, but I’m pretty confident in my abilities.”
Bush also cited Louisville’s
proximity to his home and the bonus of his parents being able to easily see
all of his games as a plus for the Cardinals.
Ohio State has been cited as the
next most likely destination, although the Buckeyes’ quarterback situation
is much more clouded.
“They’ve got two juniors and two
freshmen,” Bush said. “But they’re probably recruiting me as hard as anyone
right now. The thing they’re telling me is they don’t really have a
quarterback that can run. They have one that runs alright, but he doesn’t
throw the ball as well as I can. I may have to wait a year there, but I’m
pretty confident I’d have a chance to compete for the job.
The Buckeyes also feature one of
Bush’s former Male teammates and close friends in redshirt freshman
defensive tackle Marcus Green, and they made a big impression on him during
a recent unofficial visit.
"It's a real football school in a
good conference like the Big Ten," he said. "They've got great fan support
and they're having a great season."
He said strong tradition and good
relationships with the coaching staffs have kept Auburn and Tennessee in
contention. The Vols also have a former Male teammate, wide receiver Montrell Jones, on the roster.
Through 11 games this season, Bush
has led Male to an undefeated record by passing for more than 1,500 yards
and 18 touchdowns. In last week’s 41-24 Class 4A playoff win over Nelson
County, Bush completed 12 of 18 passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns.
He also returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown.