With Michigan needing to fill open spots at the linebacker position, bringing Devin Bush Jr. in as an early enrollee a season ago makes sense from an outside perspective.
Not only did Bush entrench himself in a U-M spring practice before the rest of the true freshman last year, he did himself a favor by getting conditioned for the next level, which eventually allowed him to see the field as a true freshman. While Bush mainly played a special teams role a season ago, he did see time at linebacker during blowouts. Now, Bush has an opportunity in front of him to seize a starting position as a sophomore.
According to his position coach Chris Partridge, Bush is well on his way by impressing early in the spring.
"Devin progresses on a daily basis," Partridge said. "He's starting to understand what it takes to be a Big Ten linebacker. He's having a heck of a spring so far and a heck of an end of the season and got better and better. He's the kind of guy that comes to work every day and gets better every day, you can really see it. He's working on some things and I'm very excited about him."
When discussing the linebacker position, you'll hear names like Mike McCray, Michael Wroblewski and others being thrown around. While many could pencil McCray in as a starter, others also expect Bush to be named a starter as well. While it could be a matter of time before that happens, Partridge is not yet convinced.
At least not publicly.
He says the linebacker spots are still very much up for grabs in the spring and he is not prepared to name any starters just yet.
"I think every one of my linebackers is one of my top guys," Partridge said. "I think that they all have to come to work and they have an opportunity. It's all about the opportunity in the spring, they show up and whether it's one rep or 100 reps they have to take advantage of it and work their butts off. I'm not ready to say, at least personally, ready to say who the top guys are. I think they all have to earn and do their part."