Football’s pre-season is almost over and soon the competition in the NFL will be getting serious. One athlete that many will be keeping their eye on is Michael Bush who recently joined the Chicago Bears after playing for the Oakland Raiders since 2007. Bush played for Louisville Male High School and for the University of Louisville before going pro.
In his senior year of high school Bush played quarterback and took Male to the state championship where they lost to Trinity, which was captained by his future UofL teammate Brian Brohm. Along with playing quarterback in high school he also played as a defensive back, defensive end, safety, running back, and wide receiver. He was recruited by Bobby Patrino, with the promise of being able to play quarterback—which was his preferred position. However, with the starting position held by Stefan LeFors, Bush played various positions as a freshman. Most impressively he was a tailback towards the end of the year, and rushed for over 100 yards in two consecutive games.
Bush’s hopes of playing quarterback were ended with the addition of Brian Brohm to the Cardinal’s squad. He had to resign himself to the tailback position for the remainder of his college career. During his sophomore year Bush rushed for 7 touchdowns, securing a starting position the following year. His 2005 season was his best year, as he rushed 1143 years and scored 23 touchdowns. He was a forerunner of the Heisman Trophy, and could have become an early draft pick for the NFL but he decided to return is senior year.
In 2006 Bush was sidelined with a serious leg injury. During the intense rivalry game with the University of Kentucky, he was tackled by linebacker Wesley Woodyard in the second half. Bush landed wrong and broke his right tibia. The injury was severe enough that he missed the remainder of the season. A steel rod and two surgeries were needed to aid in his recovery.
Though his injury sidelined him Bush was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 2007. Still recovering, he was deemed physically unable to perform for his entire first season with the Raiders. In 2008 Bush returned to the field as the third string halfback, and saw some action due to injuries to Darren McFadden and Justin Fargas. He was also a fill in blocking fullback. In the final game of the 2008 season, Bush scored 2 touchdowns against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers which helped to keep Tampa Bay out of the playoffs. In 2011 Bush had the fourth highest amount of rushing years in Raiders history and eclipsed the record set by Bo Jackson during his tenure.
In 2012 Bush signed a four year contract with the struggling Chicago Bears. Though the Bears have had some impressive games in the last few years, last year’s plague of injuries diminished their success. Bush was one of several players brought onto the Chicago squad in hopes of revitalizing the franchise. Though he has voiced his concern of being overshadowed by Matt Forte, Bush’s preseason performance has shown that his is a continued asset to any team that he is a part of.