The absence of junior safety Deon Bush was felt heavily over the last two weeks. A hamstring injury kept him off the field in key games against UVA and PITT, and it's safe to say Miami's secondary missed him... a lot.
Thankfully, on Friday morning Bush put on his pads and black jersey on and hit the field with the first team. Bush later spoke about his injury and said his hamstring isn't bothering him anymore.
"I'm feeling a lot better," said Bush. "I've just been working hard to rehab it (hamstring) and get back to the field as soon as possible."
Q: Are you at one hundred percent?
Bush: "I'm real close. I'm real close."
Head Coach Al Golden mentioned after practice that Bush got a good amount of work in today, and as the weeks go by he'll be getting more and more reps. Here's Bush working with the first team on hitting drills, where his teammates give him some positive feedback.
Seeing Bush hit the pads like that is just a small sample size, but for canes fans it's relieving to see.
Another topic concerning Deon Bush is the NFL. As an incoming senior, Bush is now draft eligible and coming off his best season yet at Miami. Some were worried that he would leave, especially since NFL money would be helpful to provide for his father's cancer treatment. But those whispers could be put to sleep now that Bush fully addressed the matter on Saturday morning.
"It's a hundred percent I'm coming back...we haven't won anything yet, and I feel like we should win." said Bush. "I just want to come back with the guys. It's just a great place to be at. I'm not trying to rush and go to the NFL. I just love being here."
Bush's return will be key to the defense's success next year. With guys like Denzel Perryman, Anthony Chickillo and Thurston Armbrister gone, Bush is arguably the best defensive player on the team, who will surely be the vocal leader of the secondary.
Before he went back to the locker room, I asked Bush about his alma mater Columbus High School playing the in the State Championship this weekend against Apopka High. A smile lit on his face immediately.The full Q&A below:
Q: Columbus is going to the state final for the fist time in 30 years, how do you feel about that?
Bush: "Man that's excellent. I'm really proud of those guys. Those guys are really playing good. I really hope they'll be able to pull off what we couldn't do, and I think they got the guys to do it, I think they got the coaches to do it, and you know I'll be rooting for them."
Q: "Coach Trujillo and Coach Merritt, what can you say about them finally getting over that hump and winning a state semi?"
Bush: "I'm very happy for them, you know cause I feel like it's well deserved. I think they're one of the top coaches in this area, in the state of Florida. They know defense and they know offense better than a lot of people. I feel like it's well deserved for them to win a state championship, I feel like Columbus as a whole need this state championship."
Bush: Because you know it's just been a long run. We been in the 1980's, this is our first time back in the championship this year. I just think for the fans, for the alumni, for the school itself a state championship would be something great."