Two in hand for Bush

Reggie Bush is a 6-0, 183-pound running back from La Mesa (Calif.) Helix, and Reggie has a plan. It's not completely refined and there are still some details to be ironed out, but the recruiting picture for Bush is clearing up every day. For the top running back on the west coast, he'll have some help when it comes down to making that all-important choice.

"My cousin is JC Pearson," Reggie told "He played for Washington and then played for Minnesota and the (Kansas City) Chiefs in the NFL. It's going to be me, him and my Dad making the decision. He's been through the process and he's doing a lot of the research for me, checking out the different colleges. He's going to be a big part of the decision-making process for me."

Pearson, originally from Oceanside, California, played his prep ball at El Camino High School before becoming a two-year starter for the Huskies back in 1983-1984. He played for the Chiefs from 1986 to 1991 and then with the Vikings for the 1993 season. JC has already given his younger cousin some sage advice about the process and what to look for.

"He told me that I need to go to a school where the coaches are going to be around for four years," Reggie said. "I don't want to go to a school where I have to make a switch. I'm also looking at the academics and the overall football program. And then there's the little things, whether or not I want to live on the east coast or west coast, the weather of each school, how close do I want to be to home...things like that."

Reggie feels he has the all-around game needed to succeed at the Division-1 level. "I like to think I'm an all-purpose back," he said. "If it's 4th and 1 and I need to punch it between the tackles I can get physical, but I would say I'm more finesse. I have power if I need to use it."

He hasn't been tested for max lifts lately, but his last max bench was 285 pounds and last max squat was 415. Reggie currently has scholarship offers from Stanford, Washington, Oregon, UCLA, USC, Colorado and Texas, with his top-three being Stanford, Washington and Notre Dame.

Here's his thoughts on the Huskies and Cardinal.

Stanford - "Academics come first. They've had success in football over the years and while they haven't been great they have made it to some Rose Bowls recently. I also want to do track, but academics is first and then athletics."

Washington - "For similar reasons to Stanford. Their academic reputation isn't as high (as Stanford's) but it's right up there. They have a great football program and a great coaching staff. I've heard a lot of good things about Coach (Rick) Neuheisel."

Fair or not, Reggie noted that he's paying attention to Neuheisel and his dalliances with other programs, like the one he had with Notre Dame last year. "It's definitely going to be a factor (possible coaching changes), but it won't be the only thing I'm looking at," he said. "I know he's going to be looking at coaching at the next level. I just need to sit down and put all my cards out on the table and see what happens."

Neuheisel has obviously been doing his homework when it comes to Reggie and his performances on the gridiron. Bush ran for 2100 yards and scored 29 touchdowns as a junior for the Helix Highlanders. He recently ran a 10.4 electronically timed 100 meters at the CIF Division II state track meet. "I ended up third, but both of the guys ahead of me were seniors," said Bush. "The guy who won, Matt Bruno from Trabuco Hills, is ranked as one of the top two or three sprinters in the country."

Reggie appears most likely to take trips to all three of his current favorites, as well as possible trips to UCLA and Oregon to round out his 5 official visits. "I'm thinking that I will want to take a couple of trips during my season, just because I know that my senior year is going to be really busy," he said.

When it comes to his schooling, Bush is talking the talk and walking the walk, and his current 3.85 GPA does a lot of the talking for him. "I can get in to Stanford if I score 1100 on my SAT," he said. "That's what they told me I need."

There's one part of Bush's master plan that seems to have already worked itself out. "I think I've already decided that I don't want to live on the east coast," he said. "I would like to stay on the west coast, but we'll see." Top Stories