With the loss of several contributing seniors, Michigan football is in a dire need for an influx of linebacker prospects before the 2016 season begins. In an effort to fill that void, head coach Jim Harbaugh had made Pembroke Pines (Fla.) Flanagan 4-star inside linebacker Devin Bush Jr. a priority throughout the recruiting process.
Standing at 6-foot, 226-pounds, Bush is listed as the No. 11 inside linebacker in the country according to 247Sports.com. He is planning to enroll mid-year, and the 4-star recruit announced his commitment to Michigan on Wednesday live at his high school, just in time to sign financial aid papers.
“I told coach [Jim] Harbaugh yesterday night for sure that I was coming,” Bush Jr. told reporters live on Periscope after his announcement. “Just the atmosphere, being up there with 110,000 each game. It’s the No. 1 public school academically and the coaching staff is all from the league, so I feel like they can develop me into the player I want to be and where I want to get. I feel like I can get a lot out of this program.”
With Bush in the fold of Michigan’s 2016 recruiting class, the Wolverines now hold the No. 6 group of recruits in this cycle nationally. So far, Michigan has landed three pledges from Flanagan in this class with Bush joining 3-star linebacker Devin Gil and 3-star safety Josh Metellus. The inclusion of his teammates into Michigan’s class actually made the decision-making process a bit more difficult, according to the newest future Wolverine.
“It was hard for me to not pick for other people,” Bush Jr. said. “So I kind of took them out of the process the whole time. I was thinking as if it was only me going.”
Outside of Michigan, the Wolverines’ coaching staff battled stiff competition from Florida State throughout the process. Bush’s father, Devin Bush Sr., attended college at Florida State before beginning a professional career, so many Seminole faithful were hoping to see his son do the same.
In June, Today’s U caught up with Bush Sr. after Michigan hosted a slew of satellite camps, one of which was in the Pembroke Pines area. Bush Jr. was at one time enamored with Michigan during his recruitment, so his father and coach spoke about the school and how his son’s recruitment ties into it.
“We went there before and I was taking two more guys from my school that had been offered by Michigan,” Bush Sr. said. “Seeing Michigan, when I grew up Michigan was one of my top schools, but I just couldn’t get up and see it. We had too many powerhouses, but seeing it myself when I first went there, I was actually at Michigan. It had some much history and tradition. Then being around the new staff that was there, it was nice. It was nice to get to experience it because of football you get to experience different things and see different places and that’s always good.”
Although Bush ended up pledging to Michigan and has considered himself a silent commit since July, the departure of defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin to the Maryland head coaching position did cause him to pause. The family had grown fond of the coach and his loss was felt in earnest, but Harbaugh ensured the family that a competent replacement will be found.If Michigan did not earn his pledge, Florida State looked poised to do so.
Michigan will find itself in another battle tomorrow when 4-star Kareem Walker announces which school he will attend.
Walker, who is listed as the No. 1 running back in the country on 247Sports.com, backed out of his commitment to Ohio State on November 3rd. With the Buckeyes out of the picture, Walker has grown very close with Michigan running back coach Tyrone Wheatley. Her has also visited Arizona State and Alabama officially, but the main competition appears to be between Michigan and Florida State.
Look for Michigan to add Walker to its commitment list on Thursday, staking a swift push for the top recruiting class in the country.