Heisman winner leaning to the next level
Reggie Bush reportedly is ready to run into the NFL draft pool.
Citing several sources, the Los Angeles Daily News reported that Bush will turn pro. Bush already is being advised by Reebok representative Mike Ornstein, Bush's stepfather said.
Officially, Bush, who practiced Friday for the first time since winning the Heisman Trophy on Dec. 10, said he'll probably announce whether he'll return to Southern California for his senior season a few days after the Rose Bowl.
"Right now, my main focus is beating Texas," he said.
In an interview with ESPN's Shelly Smith, Bush's father, LaMar Griffin, said Bush has not yet made a decision about turning pro. However, Bush's parents said they have spoken with consultants regarding possible agents should he decide to forego his senior season.
The 6-foot, 200-pound junior figures to be one of the top picks in April's NFL draft should he decide to pass up his final year of eligibility at USC. Underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to declare.
The top-ranked Trojans (12-0) extended their winning streak to 34 on Dec. 3 by beating crosstown rival UCLA 66-19, assuring them a berth in the Rose Bowl, where they'll shoot for an unprecedented third straight national championship against No. 2 Texas.
Bush capped the Trojans' victory over UCLA by running for 260 yards and two touchdowns. When asked about Bush going to the NFL, his stepfather, LaMar Griffin, told ABC Sports: "It's time to take it to the next level."
USC coach Pete Carroll said he'll address future options with several players next week.
"We're going to meet with the whole team first," he said. "Everybody has to know what's going on. We'll focus on guys who are under consideration. It's not time to make that decision."
The Trojans practiced last weekend, but Bush, fellow running back LenDale White and quarterback Matt Leinart were in New York for the Heisman ceremony. Bush and 2004 Heisman winner Leinart were finalists, while White, who shares the tailback position with Bush, was given permission to share the experience.
White is also a junior who is mulling his options. Despite playing the same position as Bush, he was a third-team All-American and holds the USC school record with 54 career touchdowns.
White rushed for 1,178 yards this season, averaging 6.7 yards per carry, while Bush gained 1,658 yards and averaged 8.9 yards per carry.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.