Michigan linebacker Devin Bush to enter NFL Draft, sit out Peach Bowl

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Michigan linebacker and co-captain Devin Bush has been thinking a lot about his future since suffering a hip injury in the regular-season finale at Ohio State.

Bush, named the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year, on Wednesday announced in a Twitter statement he will not return for his final year of eligibility to pursue the NFL Draft. He also said he has not been medically cleared to play in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 29.

“Despite getting treatment every day, I have not been cleared to practice or play in the Peach Bowl due to the hip injury I suffered in the last game,” Bush wrote. “Due to this injury, I have thought hard about my future in football.

“Having been injured I realize how fleeting this sport can be. It has always been a dream of mine to follow in my father’s footsteps and play in the NFL. This injury has made me realize how important this goal is to me and my family. Therefore I have decided to forgo my senior season and enter the 2019 NFL Draft. I want to thank God, my parents, family, friends, coaches, teammates, the University of Michigan support staff and all my fans. A special thanks to Coach Harbaugh and Brown for all that you have done for me. Forever Go Blue!”

Defensive tackle Carlo Kemp said Wednesday night on the Inside Michigan Football radio show that the Wolverines will dedicate playing in the Peach Bowl to Bush.

“It’s tough losing a player like Devin,” Kemp said. “He’s our captain, a junior captain. Very talented player. Love having him out there. We can see what he does every single Saturday

“Bush wants to play with us. He wanted to play with us, but he can’t because of the injury, so we’re going to go out there and we’re going to take the field and we’re playing for him. We know if he could have healed up and could be ready he’d be out there. You’d see No. 10 flying around. Everybody is now coming together collectively to play for Devin Bush and play for some of the other guys who aren’t playing in this game who don’t have the opportunity.”

Bush led the Wolverines in tackles the last two years. He had 102 in 2017 and 79 this season. Bush also had nine tackles for loss, five sacks and six pass breakups his final year. He also was the Big Ten’s Linebacker of the Year and a consensus All-American.

He is expected to be a high draft pick.

“I think he’s ready,” ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay told The Detroit News recently.  “There’s just a handful of guys I would say it’s time to go — it really is. He’s just so instinctive, he’s so fast, he’s today’s NFL game and everyone in the league knows it. He’s another guy, even more than Chase (Winovich), that teams are hoping other teams won’t catch on to. He and Devin White from LSU, and everyone talks about Devin White to be a top-five, top-seven pick in the draft, I don’t see a big difference between the two, I really don’t.

“He’s got a chance to be a top — wherever he goes, top 10, top 15, even a top 20 he’s going to be a first-round pick if he comes out and I think he’s going to be a heck of an NFL player, because he just fits today’s game.”


Twitter: @chengelis