Bush interviews agents, narrows field of potential reps

Updated: December 23, 2005, 9:21 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush has yet to officially declare for the 2006 draft, but ESPN.com has learned that the Southern California tailback this week began the process of interviewing agents and has already narrowed the field of potential representatives.

Seven agents met on Monday in Los Angeles with Bush, who is expected to forego his senior season with the Trojans and enter next year's draft, and with his advisors. The agents were Tom Condon, David Dunn, Todd France, Mitch Frankel, Eugene Parker, Joel Segal and Leigh Steinberg.

On Tuesday, at least three of the agents -- France, Segal and Steinberg -- were apprised by Bush advisors that the field had been winnowed and that they are finalists to represent the star tailback if he indeed goes into the 2006 draft.

A second round of interviews will follow, although a date has yet to be established and may not occur until after the Rose Bowl. Southern California, which is vying for a third straight national championship, faces the University of Texas in the much-anticipated matchup.

Bush was joined for the Monday interviews by former Oakland Raiders official Mike Ornstein, who is currently a Reebok representative and who is counseling the Trojans' star and his family; stepfather LeMar Griffin; and family member Jayice Pearson, a former Kansas City Chiefs defensive back.

The interviews were conducted within NCAA guidelines and in a manner that permits Bush to retain his college eligibility.

That may be a moot point, though, as all indications are that Bush will petition the NFL for inclusion in the 2006 draft class. The Los Angeles Daily News reported last week that Bush has decided to enter the draft. Interviewed during the USC-UCLA game earlier this month, Griffin acknowledged Bush is leaning toward the NFL and that his stepson had nothing left to prove at the college level.

League scouts, who are not permitted to discuss underclass candidates but typically do so in off-the-record conversations or evaluations that are not for attribution, certainly feel that Bush will be in the draft. Although the process of analyzing the 2006 draft class is still in its early stages, the strong consensus is that Bush would be the first player chosen.

The Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers, with just two victories each, are currently the top contenders to have the first overall selection in the draft.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.

ALSO SEE