Minnesota senior offensive line swing-man Foster Bush looks to cement a role among the squad's highly competitive two-deep depth chart next fall after starting some the last two seasons.
Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill made sure to talk about Foster Bush each and every opportunity he got during his weekly radio appearances and for good reason. Bush has been a mainstay on the Gophers offensive line the past three seasons as he's played in more than 30 games during that span including starting nine.
After another healthy spring, Gopher Digest continues it's MN A-to-Z series with the senior offensive lineman hoping to secure his spot on a very competitive offensive line.
Bush continues to improve enough during the summer months and through fall camp to earn a role as backup left tackle behind starter Jonah Pirsig. Bush's ensuing goal would then be "first tackle" off the bench" status - the top backup on either the left or right side – as the staff continues its search for a definitive eight offensive linemen on which it can rely (backup T, G, C) when the bullets go live in late August.
Bush fails to distinguish himself as the team’s top backup tackle and cedes the role to promising freshman Quinn Oseland. At present, it’s believed either Bush or Oseland would become the line’s swing offensive tackle as Limegrover mentioned in a recent interview last spring that his back-up left tackle may not even be on campus yet.
Should Bush fall behind Oseland, his road to future playing time would be limited to injuries ahead of him.
With one season of eligibility remaining, Bush's career is reminiscent of former Gopher offensive lineman Ryan Orton (2007-2011), a player that was thrown into the fire very early on his career, primarily at guard, and always found his way onto the field during his four years. Orton started games at both guard spots and tackle during his career and after playing primarily right guard in Bush's past two seasons, he's being asked to now move out to tackle just like Orton. While Bush is much more athletic than Orton was, it definitely has a similar style career path.
Development Vs. Recruiting Ranking
Bush was a consensus three-star recruit coming out of high school and he chose the Gophers over Northern Illinois (whom he switched his commitment from when Jerry Kill moved from NIU to Minnesota), Western Michigan and Illinois State.
With no other power five offers when Bush signed, Jerry Kill and staff proved once again that they have an eye for talent as Bush has been a more than adequate offensive lineman in the Big Ten. When looking at Bush's development compared to the five other offensive linemen the Gophers signed in 2011, Bush is near the top with Tommy Olson.
Anytime you can pave the way for 284 yards on the ground, including a career-high 220 by David Cobb, I'd say you're doing something right and that's exactly what Bush did against Middle Tennessee this past season.
Quote to note
"Foster Bush has had a great off-season. This is the first extended period of time where he’s been healthy, been able to get in the weight room, and he’s more explosive than he’s ever been."
- Matt Limegrover during the summer of 2014.
Minnesota A to Z: Foster Bush
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