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Archive for Friday, January 13, 2006

Bush bolting Southern Cal for NFL Draft

Wisconsin losing running back Calhoun; Crosby to return to Colorado

January 13, 2006

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— Reggie Bush was ready to bolt.

The decision to pass up his senior season at Southern California was a difficult one, but the Heisman Trophy winner said he's eager for a new challenge - such as playing for a losing team.

The Houston Texans, coming off a 2-14 record and without a winning season in their four-year existence, own the No. 1 pick in April's draft. Bush could be their choice.

"If they were to pick me, I wouldn't have a problem with that. I'm just excited to have an opportunity to make my mark at the next level, just to play for an NFL team," Bush said Thursday at a news conference on campus.

"Whatever team I go to, whether it's the Texans or another team, I hope I can build the same kind of relationships that I did with my teammates here."

Bush is expected to be one of the first players taken in the draft, along with teammate Matt Leinart and Texas quarterback Vince Young.

Houston general manager Charley Casserly likes the way things have shaped up for the Texans.

"All we can say is what has happened here with Reggie Bush and Vince Young declaring, with the addition of Matt Leinart among other players, is that you have a real strong top of the draft," Casserly said. "I think it's much stronger than it was a year ago. So what's that mean?

Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush announces at a news conference at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006, he will forego his senior year at USC to enter the National Football League draft. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush announces at a news conference at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006, he will forego his senior year at USC to enter the National Football League draft. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

"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."

USC coach Pete Carroll, a former head coach with the New York Jets and New England Patriots, called Bush a "once-in-a-lifetime talent."

"He's a game-changer, with his speed, instincts, vision and competitiveness. He's just so much fun to watch," he said in a statement. "He'll take that talent to the NFL and wow them there as a runner, receiver and as a returner. Now the Reggie Bush Show goes to Sundays, and I can't wait to watch him."

Wisconsin's Calhoun declares for draft

Madison, Wis. - Brian Calhoun hopes his short but stellar stay at Wisconsin was enough to make a good impression on the NFL.

Calhoun, who played only one year for the Badgers after transferring from Colorado, announced Thursday he would skip his senior year to enter the NFL Draft.

The 5-foot-10 running back said the decision came down to his belief he was ready for the next level - and he anticipates being picked on the first day of the draft.

"It was time for me to make that jump," Calhoun said.

In his lone season with the Badgers, Calhoun became the second player in Big Ten history to surpass 1,000 yards rushing and 500 yards receiving in the same season and led Wisconsin to a Capital One Bowl win over Auburn.

CU kicker coming back

Boulder, Colo. - All-American kicker Mason Crosby decided Thursday to return to Colorado for his senior season. Crosby, who made 21 of 28 field-goal attempts last season, including a 58-yarder at Miami, led the nation with an average of 41.2 yards for each of his made field goals. A sure NFL prospect, he decided to play out his senior season with new coach Dan Hawkins.

Ex-KU aide Wyatt leaves OU for Vikes

Norman, Okla. - Oklahoma lost a second member of its offensive staff when receivers coach and passing game coordinator Darrell Wyatt took a job with the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday.

Wyatt, a former Kansas University assistant from 1997-2000, had been the Sooners' receivers coach for the past four seasons and also was the team's pass game coordinator last season.

"It's tough to leave, but I felt this was a great opportunity," said Wyatt, who joins the staff of new Vikings head coach Brad Childress. "I get to join a new staff on the front end of a new contract. I look forward to the challenge on the next level.

"I feel like all our recruits are in good hands and I have encouraged all of them to stay with Oklahoma."

Other Bush plans to return to Cards

Louisville, Ky. - At least one running back named Bush is returning for his senior season.

Louisville junior Michael Bush will play for the Cardinals next fall rather than enter the NFL Draft.

"My family isn't struggling, for money, they're not struggling, period, so there was no need to rush it," said Bush, who ran for 1,143 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2005.

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