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January 9, 2007

Bush bolts from Birds

Forgoing the opportunity to break every Louisville rushing record, senior running back Michael Bush has decided not to take a medical redshirt and will leave the Louisville program to enter the NFL Draft.

Bush told the assembled media, "I am here today because I didn't really want to wait until the 15th. I loved my time here at U of L, but I think it is time for me to move on and play on the next level in the NFL."

Bush had a season-ending leg injury during the first game of the season, and missed what has turned out to be his final year in a Cardinal uniform. Despite his injury, Bush has said his rehab is progressing well and should be ready for the NFL combine.

"They told me first round or maybe early second," Bush said. "If I can't run then maybe third at worst."

He will be doing his rehab in Arizona at the Athletic Performance Incorporated complex in hopes to be ready for February's draft combine. Bush said he'll leave town for his intensive training as early as tomorrow.

"I think I'll be able to run in March," Bush said. "It is just about going away and getting my dieting right, getting my weight right and getting the cardio in. I think nutrition plays a major part in how I heal. I think I'll be fine."

With speculation swirling about the coaching change playing a significant role, Bush simply said no. He added, "(Coach) Petrino (leaving) wasn't a whole lot of a factor. Because I have to do what is best for me."

"But I feel like Coach played a role in it that he got me here and gave me the opportunity to play. Hats off go to Coach Petrino and the things he did for UofL, and Mr. Jurich for bringing Coach Petrino in. To me there's not another coach out here like Coach Petrino."

When asked if the decision would have been tougher if Petrino had stayed at Louisville, Bush said, "Yes, it would have been a whole lot tougher."

Bush, leaves the program seventh on the all-time list for rushing yards with 2515, and was just 689-yards behind Walter Peacock for the career record.

Originally recruited as a quarterback, Bush quickly shifted gears to playing runningback his freshman year in 2003. He then entered his name in U of L record books when he rushed for 503-yards as a freshman. And capped his career as a Junior by leading the nation and setting a Louisville record with 23-touchdowns rushing in 2005.

Bush has also has hired an agent, Todd France with France Athlete Management Enterprises. Bush said he expects to stay in Arizona training for the Draft for the next several months.


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