As we all expected he should, Devin Bush announced he will forego his senior season to enter the NFL Draft. He also will miss the Peach Bowl, and explained why:
God bless!! pic.twitter.com/dLgcZvU9Ee
— Devin Bush ll (@_Dbush11) December 19, 2018
As much as we regret not having our dear little deathbacker on the field later this month, I think we all would have regretted it more if Bush had reaggravated that ginger hip in a
meaningless less meaningful game. It's clear he was considering playing anyway. Alas, Bush swinging from the shoulders of two trainers as the wheels fell off against Ohio State will be the final image Michigan fans will see of one of the best linebackers to ever come through the program, and the previously #1 defense in the country will play its bowl game without its literal and emotional core.
From the beginning Harbaugh pursued Bush, a three-star to most sites for most of his recruitment, with the same furor that Bush pursued quarterbacks, allowing onetime 4-star commit David Reese to switch to Florida and five-star-to-some Caleb Kelly to join Oklahoma with less than five-star resistance. Harbaugh planned his biggest satellite camp of 2016 at Bush's high school, recruited Bush's teammates Josh Metellus and Devin Gil—both of whom are now starters—and later hired Bush's head coach, who also happens to be a Florida State All-American and Bush's dad, Devin Bush Sr., to an important position on staff. The legacy of Bush's recruitment is now enshrined in two ridiculous NCAA rules—satellite camps and hiring people associated with recruits—pushed by programs upset that Michigan got to enjoy a true Southern talent without resorting to their more southern strategies.
That all-out pursuit paid off as Bush earned the primary backup role at middle linebacker as a true freshman, and exploded into a future first rounder in his first game as a sophomore starter. Many tried, but no ballcarrier ever managed to find an edge that Bush couldn't beat him to, and late in his career Bush was picking up a horse-crap personal foul per game by appearing in a quarterback's chest faster than a Big Ten ref's neurological network could process it. MGoBlog's Upon Further Review scoring comes every year with a disclaimer that linebacking is hard and an equal number of plus and minus plays is a good outing, and Bush is only the second guy in the blog's history—after David Harris—to ever challenge that expectation by grading consistently well into the positive. This season the degree and amplitude of Bush's impact on the field was hardly a secret known only to the wonks who watch every play: Devin was a consensus All-American and the face of an elite defense.
The face of an elite defense. [Paul Sherman]
It would be nice for Michigan if the NFL hadn't in recent years grown wise to the fact that a 5'11" rabid death squirrel is more valuable to the modern game than the neck-rolly rageoholics they used to prefer. Since they have, despite his size, Bush is a near lock for the first round. Whichever franchise is smart enough to trade up when he's still available in the middle of it won't regret that decision any more than Michigan has.