Work Ethic

Coming from a program with the success of Steubenville (Ohio) High School, it would not be a surprise to learn that rising senior Branko Busick has learned from his peers and is ready to assume a leadership position with the Big Red. However, his head coach notes that a great deal of the credit has to go to Busick himself.

"The best thing about him is his work ethic, and his commitment to getting better," head coach Reno Saccoccia said of Busick, who committed to West Virginia over the weekend. "His work ethic is excellent. His parents and his pride in what he does are some of the things that stand out about him."

Saccoccia is quick to deflect any credit the powerful program at Steubenville might be accorded for helping develop younger players into Division I athletes, but does allow that the success the Big Red has enjoyed may provide an environment conducive to helping players grow and progress.

"I hope that our program has something to do with his development," the low-key Saccoccia said. "What we do at Steubenville has helped, but players like Busick have done a lot more of it. We will find out how he handles it all this year. It is an early commitment, but the offer certainly shows what West Virginia thinks about him. He has a lot to prove, and hopefully he will keep playing the same way he has as a sophomore and a junior."

Busick, who plays both tailback and linebacker for Steubenville, will likely begin his career at West Virginia on the defensive side of the ball. That's where Saccoccia believes his best prospects lie.

"I think his real football position is on the defensive side of the ball. Of course, if you're good enough to play in the Big East, you can probably play on either side. But he fits into our [offensive] scheme well, and is just a good football player."

While West Virginia was Busick's only offer to this point, he had interest from Penn State, Pitt and Illinois, among others. His visit to West Virginia's spring game on April 19 ended up being the tipping point for his decision.


Busick displayed his flexibility and quickness by finishing third in the 215-pound class at the Ohio state wrestling championships as a junior.

* * *

Busick grew up in Weirton, W. Va., with current West Virginia defensive end Zac Cooper.

Mountaineers Daily Top Stories