Louisville running back Michael Bush announced Tuesday he will enter the NFL draft instead of returning to the Cardinals.
The news was first reported by ESPN.com's Pat Forde, who also reported that Louisville has agreed to terms with Tulsa coach Steve Kragthorpe on a five-year deal to replace Bobby Petrino.
"I loved my time here at U of L, but I think it's time for me
to move on," Bush told reporters.
Bush said coach Bobby Petrino's decision to leave the team was a
factor in his decision. Petrino resigned Sunday to become head
coach of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons.
"When coach Petrino signed that deal, I didn't really want to
play with nobody else," he said.
Bush was touted as a Heisman Trophy candidate this season after
running for 1,143 yards and an NCAA-leading 23 touchdowns as a
junior in 2005. He ran for 128 yards and three touchdowns in little
over a half against Kentucky, but broke his right leg after being
tackled by Kentucky linebacker Wesley Woodyard early in the third
Bush told reporters last month that his rehabilitation was going
well, though he continues to walk with a slight limp and has yet to
"I had concerns if I came back, maybe if I had got hurt again
next year, could I live out my dream of playing at the next
level," he said Tuesday.
The Cardinals went 12-1 this season, winning the Big East title
and the Orange Bowl. Louisville junior quarterback Brian Brohm has
yet to announce whether he will return to the Cardinals next
Bush said he's heard from NFL personnel that he could go
sometime between the first and third rounds. He is planning to
spend the next few months rehabbing the leg in Arizona in hopes of
being able to run for NFL scouts prior to April's draft.
"If I can't run in March, maybe I fall to the third," Bush
said. "That is a chance I am willing to take."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.