Tampa, Fla. — Devin Bush Sr. is getting his feet wet as a college football assistant coach and may very well earn a permanent spot on Michigan’s coaching staff.
With the departure of safeties coach Brian Smith to Rice as defensive coordinator, Bush has been filling in during bowl practices. Michigan is preparing to face South Carolina in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day.
Bush, the father of Michigan sophomore linebacker Devin Bush, has been working as a defensive analyst on Jim Harbaugh’s staff. He has considerable coaching experience on the high school level and led Flanagan (Florida) High to the 2015 state title.
“He’s the interim safeties coach,” Harbaugh said Thursday. “I know (defensive coordinator) Don (Brown) likes Devin a lot, so do I, so this is a great opportunity for him to coach on the field. He hasn’t done that (on the college level). It’s an extended job interview. He’s doing a good job.”
Safety Tyree Kinnel gave Bush high marks for his work with the players during bowl practices and said he’d “definitely” like to see Bush get the job permanently. Kinnel said it helps that Bush knows the system already.
“He’s doing good. He’s great,” Kinnel said Thursday after practice. “His personality matches his coaching. He’s a high-energy guy. He gets after you a lot. We’re learning a lot from him back in that safety room. It’s good working with coach Bush these last three weeks.”
Big recruiting target at practice
It is probably no coincidence that Michigan is practicing this week at Berkeley Prep where five-star offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere attends. Petit-Frere (6-foot-6, 272 pounds) visited Michigan this fall and also is considering Ohio State, Alabama and Florida.
Petit-Frere watched Michigan’s practice on Thursday, although NCAA rules do not allow him and the coaches to interact.
Michigan practiced at West Orange High in Orlando two years ago when the Wolverines played in the Citrus Bowl. That was the high school home of receiver Eddie McDoom, who later flipped his commitment to Michigan.
Berkley Prep is also where former Michigan kicker Garrett Rivas is a coach. Rivas has attended Michigan’s last two practices there.
Harbaugh said freshman receiver Tarik Black, who has missed most of the season with a broken foot, will not play in the bowl game.