Former walk-on making mark on OL

George Bussey, a former walk-on who was recently awarded a scholarship, is locked in a heated battle with Danny Barlow to replace first team Big East selection Jason Spitz at offensive guard. A 6-3, 285-pound sophomore, Bussy has impressive athleticism and is a player to watch this spring.

Before spring practice started, Louisville coach Bobby Petrino touted promising offensive lineman George Bussey as a player to watch this spring.

A 6-3, 285-pound sophomore from Louisville Western High, Bussey joined the U of L program two years ago as a preferred walk-on. After a redshirt season in 2004, Bussey saw action last season on the offensive front when tackle Jeremy Darveau went down with injury late in the season, performing admirably when given the opportunity.

Now, Bussey finds himself locked in a battle with junior Danny Barlow for the starting position at guard vacated by Jason Spitz. Though he saw action at tackle last season, it appears Bussey is destined for a spot at guard. And that's just fine ‘by' George.

"Whatever (position) the coach tells me to play is fine with me," Bussey said with a laugh.

Extremely athletic and quick for his size, Bussey uses those attributes to his advantage against bigger, yet slower, defensive linemen.

"I try to beat people to their technique, and use mine before they use theirs," Bussey explained. "I try to be quicker than the defensive linemen."

George Bussey is making the switch from
tackle to guard this spring.

Though Bussey possesses impressive physical attributes, he knows he has much improvement left to make.

"I've got some technical things that I need to work on, but practice is going fine," Bussey said.

On an offensive line with three spots up for grabs, Petrino has promised to switch players like Bussey around to different positions during spring practice to find the best five man combination up front.

"We're just working hard to see who goes where," Bussey said. "We're just trying to make everybody better by working hard."

Bussey said communication is the strength of this year's offensive line, adding that developing chemistry will be one of the unit's primary goals this spring.

"We communicate well with each other, but we've got to develop chemistry with each other because we're all different," Bussey said.

With scholarship in hand and no more burden of paying tuition, Bussey's complete focus this spring is on football and earning a starting spot on the Cardinals offensive front.

"It was a relief," Bussey said of being rewarded a scholarship. "It's like when you work hard for something, and finally get it."

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