RECRUITING: Fred Bussey likes the Gators

Athlete Fred Bussey from Upson Lee HS in Thomaston Georgia is starting to gain more attention from recruiters. The small town star has had a busy summer this year and plans on having a busier football season through the recruiting year. The 8-1, 225 pound QB/LB/S is being recruited at multiple positions, but sees himself playing defense in college. Get the real inside scoop on his plans and thoughts.

Over the summer, Fred Bussey visited Auburn and Georgia Tech. After time away from those visits he shared his thoughts on them: "I liked those schools pretty well and hope to get to be able to go back before signing day so I can take a closer look and narrow my choices. I want to see where I actually am going to try and go to school." He missed the Florida Rising Senior Camp, "I didn't make it to the Florida camp for personal reasons and I wrote Coach Disch a letter explaining that to him."

He received exciting news over the summer as he has been officially offered scholarships to play football. He currently sports offers from two major powers in the south as Auburn and Florida have both offered Bussey as a defender.

Not slowing down, he continues to train and get ready for the upcoming season. "Basically, my biggest thing I have to conquer is the running because I actually don't like to run. I am getting into the habit of doing some extra running. As far as weight lifting, most days we will be at practice, so we don't do the weight lifting during those days." His team is currently ranked 9th in the state in 4-A classification. He is fired up about the season and the opportunities he expects for his team. Last year was not so rosy. "Last year I got injured in the 6th game of the season so my backup actually came in. We had high expectations to go far and unfortunately we got eliminated in the first round."

His favorite player growing up was Barry Sanders, yet he hardly resembles Sander's playing style. Bussey explained, "I really don't resemble anyone in particular. I'm kind of different than most people because in high school I'm not used to playing against guys my size except on the defensive line. But you don't see defensive ends that are Division I material. By me being 6-1 225 pounds I am more apt to look for the contact instead of always laying off. If the ball is handed off or a backfield pass, I'm willing to go and block down field. I am one of the most aggressive guys on the field."

Bussey is quite certain of the criteria he is going to use to make his college choice. "I am looking forward to getting into a decent school and education. As far as football, I want to go to a place where they have a tradition of winning and good competition. A place where I can mature and grow and develop me into the football player they need me to be. Somewhere I can actually play. I don't want to waste my career sitting on the sideline; I want to go somewhere I have a pretty good chance of getting a lot of playing time. Growing up I have always been one of the top athletes in the small town, so I'm not used to sitting. I just really want to get out there and make an impact for them. I'm willing to red-shirt, but when the time comes, I'll be ready to get out there and do it."

Playing many positions in high school, Bussey pictures himself on only one side of the ball in college. "I can see myself as an outside linebacker or rover, or maybe even a strong safety. One of those positions would be the most likely."

So with all of the criteria set for his college choice, which collegiate teams are in it for him? "My high interest schools are Florida, Georgia, Auburn, and Mississippi State."

On Florida, Bussey said: "I have talked to the secondary coach. He talked about all the young guys there. I feel like the level of competition we will all start off fresh and I figure that whoever will play will be the one that can adapt the fastest and matures in the shortest amount of time. I think I can go down there and make an impact down there in some form or fashion. I've always been a fan of the Florida Gators also. Hopefully I can go down there and just play football."

Auburn was the second school on his list and he said: "At my school we have a sound ground attack and I look at the running backs and I am just a fan of the running game. I also have a relative that played for Auburn and he's been trying to get me to come over there to play."

With Georgia it's all about the people surrounding him, as he explains: "Being from the home state, usually it comes down to either you are a Tech fan or a Bulldog fan and more or less I am always rooting for the Red. I think what it all boils down to is that I just love the SEC."

Mississippi State also made his current list: "I'm not too sure why, but for some reason they stand out in my mind. I think I can help their team if I like the program. It seems that most of their guys are young too, and they are starting off fresh with a new coach. I really expect them to rebound for the best. If it came down to it, I think I could be one of the players that could help them rebound and have a great season."

Bussey plans on taking unofficial visits to the University of Georgia and the University of Florida. He plans on watching games at Florida and Auburn.

With the home state Bulldogs one of his favorites, I asked if there might be any pressure to stay in state and play for the Dawgs. He confirmed, "Yeah there is pressure, family, friends and every day people. Coming from such a small town when they hear that I might like Florida they say, ‘You going to go to Florida, why don't you go for the Bulldogs" I say it's a possibility. If they offer me a scholarship, it would be one heck of a decision that I would have to make. It's life, but there are a lot of people trying to get me to stay home and play for the bulldogs."

Bussey is a modest and somewhat shy kid, although you couldn't tell from his very open interview. He shared that with us: "Where I am from, it's such a small town and football is what keeps this town going. It's awkward, but personally I am kind of shy to be around a lot of people and very skeptical about being in the public eye. I just don't deal with it too well, the questions, and the press. Sometimes I just don't deal with it too well. I'm a very humble person. It's different because when I run the ball, I love the pressure. Hopefully it's something I can get over. My very first game in varsity I had a little nausea out there because I wasn't quite ready for the big time. Sometimes you just have to step it up and deal with it when you are forced to. I just don't deal with that sometimes."

Fred Bussey was a great interview. He is a bright and ultra talented player that hasn't gotten a lot of press yet. It will truly be a pleasure to follow him on the recruiting trail this year.


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