Columbus junior Bush turning heads

WINTER PARK — It’s never too early to start looking ahead to the Class of 2012, and as such, defensive back prospect Deon Bush (6-1, 175, Miami, Fla. / Christopher Columbus) is already turning heads with his approach to the game of football.

The rangy prospect, who could potentially line up at cornerback, safety or outside linebacker on the next level, participated in the triple jump Saturday at the FHSAA Class 4A Track & Field finals and finished 14th with a leap of 44 feet, 2 inches. Although Bush wasn’t particularly happy with the way his season finished on the track, he was anxious to get started preparing for his junior season.

“It was a bad day. I messed my mark and couldn’t get on track. It was my worst jump of the year,” Bush said. “I expect more from myself.”

Bush will hit the football field this week, and he has high hopes for the 2010 season. “I’ve been working hard in the offseason,” he said. “I plan to have a big year (this fall).”

With the spring now upon us, Bush will take on an expanded role in the Columbus defense as directed by his coaches.

“I’ve been playing safety, but this year I will be moving to outside linebacker a little bit, too,” Bush said.

The added load on Bush is something he hopes pushes this squad over the hump. Columbus has won a lot of games in recent years—the Explorers are 45-9 since 2005—but has yet to make it out of the second round of the playoffs in a tough region which includes traditional powers Northwestern and Miami Central.

“I just want to do whatever I can to help the team,” he said. “Our goal this year is to make it to the state championship. Those guys (Northwestern and Central) have a target on their backs.”

Bush recorded 44 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble for the Explorers as they finished the season with a 10-2 record and second-round appearance in the FHSAA Class 6A playoffs in 2009. He has been officially timed in under 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash this spring and has a vertical jump of 35 inches.

The younger brother of Purdue redshirt freshman wide receiver Gary Bush, Deon already has a good grasp on what the recruiting process will entail over the coming years.

“The first thing you do is look at academics,” he noted. “Second, is the way the coaches approach you. If you like how the school fits, then that’s the one for you.”

Purdue figures to be a factor in his recruitment, but with the major Florida programs a possible factor in his recruitment, he isn’t making any promises.

“I’d like to play alongside my brother (in college), but we’ll see,” Deon Bush said.