After a few weeks of vetting by the NCAA, Michigan received clearance it had been looking for to add another member to its support staff. Devin Bush Sr. will now don the Maize & Blue in an official capacity.
“Harbaugh called me today and said he could hire me (immediately), so I accepted the offer as the defensive analyst,” Bush Sr. told The Michigan Insider. “I couldn’t be more excited to have an opportunity to further my career.”
Bush Sr. heads to Michigan on the heels of coaching Pembroke Pines (Fla.) Flanagan to its first state championship. His son Devin Bush Jr. was one of three Wolverine signees on that team (Devin Gil and Josh Metellus were the others), and now father and son are elated over their chance to team up again in Ann Arbor.
“He said, ‘you really deserve it. You really deserve what is happening to you.’ Bush Sr. said reflecting upon his conversation with his son. “That’s despite all of these people trying to come up with these rumors trying to act like I sold my son to somebody for an analyst job that doesn’t pay a whole lot of money. For people to say things like that… he doesn’t deserve that. If he would have gone to Florida State it would have been, ‘he went to Florida State because of his dad.’ Now you want to say, ‘he chose Michigan because Michigan promised his dad something.’ There’s not enough money to sell my son to go somewhere that he wouldn’t want to go. There is not enough money for that. For people to say things like that and make those comments is shallow. I know it is part of the territory, but my son earned everything he is getting. My son shouldn’t be punished and things shouldn’t be said because he just happened to have a dad that is in this business as well. It’s not right and it’s not fair to him.”
With that now said Bush Sr. feels the best way to address the critics in the future is to do his job well. Never short on confidence, the former college and NFL standout is ready to tackle his next challenge with the same ferocity he did every one before it.
“I’m not totally sure of what all I’ll be involved in,” Bush Sr. said regarding his new job. “I know I’ll be involved on the defensive side breaking down film, (analyzing) tendencies, doing reports… whatever the defensive coordinator or assistant coaches ask me to do in that capacity. I don’t know all of the exact particulars of that complete role.”
The uncertainty exists in part because Bush Sr. knows he will also play a big role on the recruiting side of things.
“I feel like I‘m very qualified and that I’m a very intriguing figure in the recruiting process because the kids that we’re going out trying to recruit… everything they think they want to do, I’ve done it,” he said. “I’ve won on every level. High school state champion, national champion, Super Bowl champion, played in two Super Bowls, won a lot of games… I’m a winner. I came from the inner city of Miami and got out of there and earned a full scholarship to Florida State. (I was a) first round draft pick. I’m that dream that they dream. When I’m looking at them and talking to them they can really relate. Any question they have and anything they want to know, if I don’t know it, I know someone that went through it. So I can talk to a kid in any household in America and recruit. I don’t care what social class they are or what region they’re from… it doesn’t matter. I can relate. I am that kid.”
His high visibility in the Sunshine State make his home turf a natural point of emphasis for his recruiting efforts, at least initially.
“My focus will be wherever they tell me, but I’m sure I’ll start with Florida because that’s where I was born and raised,” Bush Sr. said. “That’s where I did a lot of things. I’m from Florida and I played college football in Florida.”
He undoubtedly will be a major asset in Michigan’s pursuit of 2017 four-star Flanagan cornerback Stanford Samuels III, but at the moment the Wolverines’ newest staff member can’t think that far ahead. What’s top of mind right now is how difficult it is leaving Samuels and rest the Flanangan team. It’s a feeling that can definitely be described as bittersweet.
“That’s my family,” Bush Sr. said regarding Flanagan. “They’re happy for me, but sad to see me go. And my players… it’s really tough on them. It was really hard to have to look at them in the face and say I accepted the job. They mean a lot to me. We had so much fun together. We’ve grown a lot and they become a part of your family as well. You get excited for yourself in one aspect, but on the other hand you’ve got to do it with a heavy heart to because of the young men you have to separate from to go to further my career. It comes at a price and the price is me not being around them every day and not being able to coach them and have that camaraderie and that relationship.”
The thing making it somewhat easier is he knows he is leaving the program in good hands.
“Stanford Samuels (II) is going to be the head coach,” Bush Sr. said. “He was the assistant head coach and defensive coordinate. He did a great job. He earned this opportunity.
Bush Sr. will report to Ann Arbor for duty Sunday.