Reggie Bush declares for NFL Draft


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.

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."

Bush, who turns 21 in March, made his announcement a day after running mate LenDale White made his decision to leave school early to go to the NFL. The elusive Bush had been the Trojans’ Lightning to the power-running White’s Thunder in the USC backfield.

The 6-foot, 200-pound Bush, from the San Diego suburb of Spring Valley, had 1,740 yards rushing and 2,890 all-purpose yards this season for the Trojans, denied an unprecedented third straight national title by a 41-38 loss to Texas in the Rose Bowl last week.

Bush said he was the first member of his family to go to a four-year college. The political science major said emphatically, "I will get my degree, and I will get it at USC."

Bush’s uncanny agility, speed and ability to change direction has drawn comparisons to Gale Sayers, Barry Sanders, Tony Dorsett and Marshall Faulk.

Bush averaged an amazing 8.9 yards per carry this season, caught 37 passes for 478 yards and led the nation in all-purpose yards with 222.3 per game.

Bush was a runaway winner of the Heisman, with Young far back in second place. Leinart, Bush’s teammate the past three years and the 2004 Heisman winner, was third. Those players could very well go 1-2-3 in the NFL draft on April 29.