In an age where seemingly endless updates and habitual list cuts have become the norm, four-star Schertz Clemens wide receiver Tommy Bush is taking the recruiting process slow and steady.
“I’m patient in the process. We’ve got until February so we’re going to take our time and make sure it’s the right program.”
With 40 offers in hand, Bush is among the nation’s most coveted prospects, and understandably so. At 6’4.5 with sub-4.5 40-yard dash speed, Bush is a walking mismatch among the high school ranks with the potential to remain as such at the next level.
“A lot of them [coaches] have been talking X, but they said with my speed, I could be the Z,” Bush said of how college coach’s have talked about using him. “I could also get slot action and come in motion. They’ve said with my speed and my size, basically the sky’s the limit. My size and speed give me the chance to play, pretty much at any position.”
Again, he’s in no rush to determine where he’ll ultimately utilize his size and speed, but Alabama, Florida State, LSU, USC, UCLA, Oklahoma, Penn State and Nebraska are all vying for Bush’s services, just to name a select few.
Taking the recruiting process at his own patient pace, Bush credits his support system at home as his most influential guides throughout a period of his life that can quite easily become overwhelming.
“My mom and dad, we pretty much have a conversation every day about the recruiting process (who to call, who they need to talk to, which reporters to talk to),” Bush said of who’s helped him handle the recruiting process. “Really I would have to say my parents and my pastor, you know, just praying that God will lead me where my family is going to be comfortable leaving me there.”
“It gets overwhelming, but my mom and dad keep me grounded and keep a set time for me to do certain things,” Bush added. “I’m still a young man so they let me be that.”
Being from a military family, Bush is no stranger to uprooting and resettling elsewhere, as he may have to do in college. Prior to his current three-year stint in the San Antonio-area, Bush’s family resided in Florida, and even in Germany at one point. Such a lifestyle has taught Bush the value of family and the realization that at times, they’re all you have. By next February’s National Signing Day, Bush will sign and seal his future with the program of his choice, whether it’s close to home or once again, across the country.
As one may expect, the distance is a factor, though not a deciding one for the Bush family.
“It’s a big deal, you know,” Bush said. “I love my family. Sometimes that’s all we have, especially when you’re in Germany or whatever. We’re a really tight-knit family, but of course, they’re going to support me wherever I go and whoever I choose, as far as who’s the best fit. Just basically where I feel at home, who’s going to prepare me for the next level if that’s what God has for me or who’s going to give me the best education. Of course I’d love to have my family, but it’s not a sticking point.”
While Bush will certainly have no shortage of options to possibly call home for his collegiate career—40 options, to be specific—there are a still few offers out there he’d love to have on hand; programs such Ohio State, Clemson, Michigan, Stanford and of course, his current home-state Longhorns.
“Texas, definitely, being 45 minutes right up the road,” Bush said. “I’ve talked to coach Tom Herman on the phone and coach [Drew] Mehringer. He’s come to my practices a couple times evaluated me. We’ve had good contact.”
With or without those offers, Bush said he and his family will soon start taking trips to various campuses and further evaluating his options, but did note that he doesn’t really have a top 10 or top 15 at this point. “There’s not really a big time standout, but I’m just so blessed to have this many people that want me to play,” Bush said.
While the demands on the recruiting process aren’t just going to disappear until Bush ultimately makes his decision, he’s supremely focused on his individual development and still playing with plenty to prove.
And make no mistake about it: Despite the 40 offers and interest from the majority of the nation’s powerhouse programs, Bush still feels he does have something to prove, even at the high school level.
“Absolutely,” Bush said. “Every day, every game, every rep. Every practice and every period, I have to try to get better so I’m never at a point where I’m satisfied until I’ve made my checks in the NFL and I’m retired.”
As far as what he’s doing to get better, Bush has started working with Dallas-based wide receivers coach Margin Hooks on improving his releases, tightening up his footwork and coming out of his breaks better. “I’m a pretty big guy so it’s harder for me to get down so everybody wants me to sink my hips; that’s what I hear,” Bush said. “That’s what I’ve been working on and trying to add to my game; trying to flip a DB left or right.”
Furthermore, and though it’s not exactly necessary during his final season at Clemens, Bush is well-aware of the complexity of the defenses he’ll see at the college level and what he’ll need to do to separate himself when the competition level is significantly heightened.
“Recognizing coverages,” Bush said of what he’ll need to improve in preparation for the DI level. “I need to start recognizing what the linebacker is doing, what is the safety doing as soon as I release and how to work them to get my opening. In college, you’ll have four DI guys, four DI corners and safeties so just recognizing coverages more and try to work myself open.”
40 offers and a development to-do-list to complete before likely joining a high-major college roster next summer considered, Bush isn’t overlooking his final season at Clemens.
After beginning the season 5-1, the Buffaloes faltered down the stretch and fell to 5-5 following four consecutive losses. Bush said he and the team have a checklist to assure that’s not the case for the 2017 season.
“The first thing is to set ourselves up to make the playoffs and make district, so that’s at least being the fourth team,” Bush said. “After that, we’re trying to win district because we’re trying to compete.” Making note of having Converse Judson on the ropes in what became a 31-24 loss and trailing Cibolo Steele just 14-13 at halftime, finishing games is a point of emphasis going forward.
“We were highly competitive with both teams, we just didn’t finish so this year we’re really trying to finish,” Bush said.
Finishing is obviously easier said than done, but Bush said Clemens is doing its due diligence this offseason with a new offensive scheme, which will feature its star wide receiver in a variety of formations. “We went to a different style running attack; more of a zone scheme. They’ll be moving me around. I’ll be lining up a little tighter to the formations,” Bush said, adding he’ll even be seen in some sweep plays. “And just really tighten up our defense. We gave up a lot of points last year, as well, so I think we’ll be a lot better on the defensive side of the ball.”
If Bush gets his way, Clemens will still be playing football in late November and on into December as the postseason intensifies. All the while, his recruitment will continue to intensify, but just as he is now, Bush will continue to take the process slow and steady and hopes the fans he’ll one day suit up in front of can be patient with him, as well.
“I just ask them to be patient with me while I go through the process. Wherever I commit, that’s going to be home.”
Considering not only the kind of talent, but the kind of person one program will ultimately be fortunate enough to earn a commitment from, the wait will be well worth it.
“Dedicated,” Bush said of how he’d describe himself to whichever fan base he’ll one day play in front of. “Definitely a game-changer when I get the ball in my hands. I’m trying to break every tackle. I’m a hard worker. I don’t have a whole bunch to say. I’m not a big-time trash talker; I just let my game do the talking. If I score 100 touchdowns, that’s great. If I don’t score any and don’t get the ball and my team is winning, that’s great, as well. You’re going to get a team guy and a guy that’s great in character.”
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