His 1,420 career kickoff return yards is second on USC's all-time list and his 559 career punt return yards is fifth on USC's all-time chart.
2004: Bush was a difference maker as a sophomore tailback in 2004. He was college football's most exciting player. Overall 2004 while appearing in all 13 games, he ran for 908 yards on 143 carries (6.3 avg.) with 6 TDs, caught 43 passes for 509 yards (11.8 avg.) with 7 TDs, returned 24 punts for 376 yards (15.7 avg.) with 2 TDs, returned 21 kickoffs for 537 yards (25.6 avg.) and even completed a 52-yard TD pass. He started only against Washington State and Oklahoma (LenDale White started the other games at tailback, although both were on the field together often in 2004). He was fifth nationally in all-purpose running (179.2, first in Pac-10), as well as ninth in punt returns (15.7, first in Pac-10) and 16th in kickoff returns (25.6, second in Pac-10).
He had 2,330 all-purpose yards in 2004 (the most by a Trojan since Marcus Allen had a school-record 2,683 yards in his 1981 Heisman season) and averaged 10.1 yards every time he touched the ball (231 touches). He had 34 plays of 20-plus yards in 2004, including 8 of 50-plus yards. His 2 scoring punt returns in 2004 were the most in a season by a Trojan since R. Jay Soward also had 2 in 1998 (and are 1 shy of the USC and Pac-10 season records). He topped the Pac-10 in punt returns for the first time by a Trojan since Raymond Butler in 1979, thereby becoming the first Trojan to win Pac-10 titles in both punt and kickoff returns (he was the league's 2003 kickoff return leader). And if was the first Trojan to lead the Pac-10 in all-purpose yardage since Marcus Allen in 1981 (when he topped the NCAA).
He finished fifth in the voting for the 2004 Heisman Trophy. He was selected as the 2004 College Player of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus. He was named to the 2004 All-American first team by Football Coaches, Cingular/ABC Sports, The Sporting News, ESPN.com, CSTV (all as a return specialist) and AP, SI.com and Rivals.com (as an all-purpose player), to the second team by Walter Camp and honorable mention by SI.com (as a punt returner) and Collegefootballnews.com. He also made the 2004 Collegefootballnews.com Sophomore All-American first team. He was the 2004 Pac-10 Co-Offensive Player of the Year (along with teammate Matt Leinart) and made the All-Pac-10 first team as both a tailback (USC's first tailback first teamer since 1989) and punt returner, and the second team as a kickoff returner. He made the 2004 ESPN.com All-Pac-10 first team and Rivals.com All-Pac-10 first team (as both a punt returner and utility player). He was USC's 2004 team MVP and won USC's Co-Player of the Game versus UCLA and Jack Oakie "Rise and Shine" (longest run) Awards. He was a finalist for the 2004 Walter Camp Player of the Year Award and a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award and Maxwell Award.
In the opener against Virginia Tech, he caught 3 long scoring passes to become the 10th USC player to catch a school-record 3 TD passes in a game (but the first running back to do so) and he had 258 all-purpose yards (127 on 5 receptions, 60 on 4 punt returns, 44 on 3 kickoff returns and 27 on 9 rushes), all of which earned him Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week honors. He rushed for 84 yards and a TD on 12 tries (along with a 39-yard kickoff return, 3 punt returns for 17 yards and a 2-yard catch) against Colorado State. At BYU, he and White became the first Trojan duo to each break the 100-yard rushing barrier since Chad Morton and LaVale Woods did so against Oregon State in 1996, as he had 124 yards (the first 100-yard outing of his career) with a career-long 66-yard TD run on 14 carries (he had 211 all-purpose yards as he also caught 4 passes for 42 yards, including a 21-yard TD, returned a kickoff 38 yards and had 7 yards on a pair of punt returns) and White had 110 rushing yards. He then had 240 all-purpose yards (95 on 16 rushes, 25 on 4 receptions, 85 on 4 kickoff returns and 35 on 2 punt returns) at Stanford, with a 17-yard tackle-breaking TD run and a 33-yard zig-zagging punt return to set up USC's winning score. He had 109 yards on 2 kickoff returns (including an 84-yarder), plus he rushed 8 times for 23 yards and caught a 6-yard pass, against California. He had 115 all-purpose yards (49 on 2 punt returns, including a 41-yarder in which he barely stepped out of bounds as he was breaking into the clear, plus 45 yards on 2 receptions and 21 on 5 carries) and caught a 10-yard TD pass versus Arizona State in just 3 quarters of action. He had 126 all-purpose yards (55 on 13 carries and 41 on a game- and career-best 6 receptions with a 15-yard TD, plus a 30-yard punt return) against Washington. At Washington State, he had 143 all-purpose yards (42 on 14 carries, 23 on 5 receptions and 78 on 3 punt returns) with 2 TDs (a 19-yard run and 57-yard punt return). At Oregon State, he had 249 all-purpose yards (88 on 11 rushes, 82 on 3 kickoff returns, 73 on 3 punt returns and 6 on 2 receptions) and had a dazzling reverse-his-field scoring punt return for the second consecutive week (this one was 65 yards) to earn Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week honors. He had 130 all-purpose yards (65 yards on 3 kickoff returns, 45 yards on 12 rushes, 19 yards on 4 receptions and 1 yard on a punt return) against Arizona. He took a short pass 69 yards for a TD against Notre Dame (he also ran for 25 yards on 8 carries). At UCLA, Bush had a pair of electrifying touchdown runs (a zig-zagging 65-yarder on the game's second play, then a career-long 81-yarder) among his career-best 335 all-purpose yards; he ran for a career-best 204 yards (the most by a Trojan since Shawn Walters' 234 in 1994 at Stanford) on 15 carries (he had 153 yards and both TDs on just 6 carries in the first half), plus he had 73 yards on a game-best 6 catches, 39 yards on 2 kickoff returns and 19 yards on 2 punt returns. He had 149 all-purpose yards against Oklahoma (75 on 6 carries, 36 on 2 kickoff returns, 31 on 2 receptions and a 7-yard punt return).
2003: Bush proved to be an impact player as a first-year freshman reserve tailback in 2003. Overall in 2003 while appearing in all 13 games, he ran for 521 yards on 90 carries (5.8 avg.) with 3 TDs, had 15 receptions for 314 yards (20.9 avg.) with 4 TDs, had a team-best 18 kickoff returns for 492 yards (27.3 avg.) with a TD and returned 2 punts for 4 yards (2.0 avg.). He also recovered a fumble (on a bad punt snap). He had 24 plays of 20-plus yards in 2003 out of 115 touches (rushes of 23, 27, 58, 20, 32 and 24 yards, receptions of 28, 37, 38, 27, 30 and 36 yards, and kickoff returns of 23, 25, 30, 34, 35, 35, 20, 58, 96, 30, 24 and 28 yards). He was 10th nationally in kickoff returns (27.3, first in Pac-10). He set USC's freshman all-purpose yardage record (1,331 yards). He was the first Trojan to lead the league in kickoff returns since Anthony Davis in 1974. He was named to the 2003 Scripps/Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-American first team, Collegefootballnews.com Freshman All-American honorable mention and Rivals.com Freshman All-American honorable mention and All-Pac-10 honorable mention squads, as well as ESPN.com All-Pac-10 Co-Newcomer of the Year. He also won USC's Jack Oakie "Rise and Shine" Award (for the longest play).
He had 270 all-purpose yards at Washington (132 yards on 5 receptions-the most receiving yards ever by a Trojan running back-with TDs of 60 and 37 yards, plus 81 yards on 12 rushes and 57 yards on 2 kickoff returns). Against Oregon State, he had 173 all-purpose yards (71 on 6 rushes, 48 on 3 receptions with TDs of 30 and 3 yards and 54 on 2 kickoff returns). At Notre Dame, he rushed for a game-best 89 yards on 6 carries (14.8 average), including a 58-yard cutback TD run (he was untouched), and he caught a 38-yard pass. He ran for 64 yards on 11 tries and also had a 58-yard kickoff return at Arizona. He had 54 yards on 9 carries with 2 scores (23 and 27 yards) against Hawaii, plus he caught a 28-yard pass and returned a kickoff 20 yards. Against UCLA, he had 10 yards on 6 rushes, 32 yards on 2 catches and 105 yards on 3 kickoff returns (including a 96-yard TD, USC's first scoring kickoff return since 1998) and he was named Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week. Against Michigan in the Rose Bowl, he had 41 yards on 8 rushes, 42 yards on 2 catches, 45 yards on 2 kickoff returns and 4 yards on 2 punt returns. He also ran for 34 yards on 6 attempts against Stanford, 27 yards on 4 carries (he also returned a kickoff 23 yards) at Arizona State, 19 yards on 6 tries against BYU (he also returned a kickoff 30 yards), 15 yards on 7 attempts against Washington State (he also had 62 yards on 3 kickoff returns and recovered a fumble on a bad punt snap that set up a USC field goal), 9 yards on 5 carries at Auburn, 7 yards on 4 carries at California (he also returned 2 kickoffs for 38 yards).
HIGH SCHOOL: He was named a 2002 Parade All-American (and the top running back), USA Today All-USA first team, Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, Student Sports All-American first team, Tom Lemming All-American, The Insiders.com All-American second team, Tom Lemming Super Team, Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star Top 100 Dream Team, The Sporting News Hot 100, FOX Sports 50, Tom Lemming Top 100, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Tom Lemming All-West, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, All-CIF San Diego Section first team, San Diego Union-Tribune Offensive MVP and All-Grossmont South League Offensive MVP pick as a senior running back at Helix High in La Mesa (Calif.). He ran for 1,691 yards on 140 carries (12.1 avg.) with 27 TDs in 2002 despite missing 4 games with a broken wrist. Helix advanced to the CIF San Diego Section Division II finals.
As a junior in 2001, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass first team and All-CIF San Diego Section first team Offensive MVP. He ran for 2,200-plus yards, averaged 36.4 yards per rushing touchdown, scored 204 points (on 34 TDs, including 6 on receptions and 2 on punt returns) and had 3,135 all-purpose yards in 2001.
He made the Cal-Hi Sports All-State Sophomore first team in 2000.
In his career, he ran for 4,995 yards (averaging 12.0 a carry) and scored 450 points.
He also competed in track at Helix, placing third in the 2002 California state 100 meters final and posting bests of 10.42 in the 100 (the fastest prep time in California in 2002 and the fastest among the nation's 2002 senior footballers) and 21.06 in the 200 meters (third fastest prep in California in 2002). He placed second in the boys' 50-meter dash in 5.85 at the 2003 Los Angeles Invitational Indoor Meet.
PERSONAL: He's a political science major at USC. His nickname is "The President" (because of that, he humorously was singled out in remarks by President George W. Bush during USC's national championship visit to the White House in March of 2004). He covered the 2003 Super Bowl as a reporter for NFLHS.com.
REGGIE BUSH ON:
"I expect great things out of myself. I expect to make great plays, great moves. In my mind, I can never be good enough...It just comes with the territory of making the most of what God has given you. I'm just trying to make the most out of a blessing I was given."
How he sees his role:
"To do it all. My favorite role is to get the ball in my hands. Any way I can do that. I just like getting the ball in my hands and making a play for my team...Ever since I started playing football, it just felt right. It just felt like something I loved to do. I just loved being able to entertain the crowd and to go out there and make plays happen. It was fun at the same time...I have to know a lot more about the playbook than the other players. But that goes with the territory and I love it."
: "I don't really look at other people's moves and copy them because, when I'm on the field, I'm not going to remember them. It's just something that has a lot to do with instinct and vision and all those running back aspects that you have. You put them all into a basket, and you just use them on the field and go out there and make plays."
Sharing the tailback duty:
"I'm a competitor. I love having the ball in my hands. Some day, I'd like to be the starter. But that's not important to me. What's important is winning. It's not the normal way, but it's working out well...It's a little tough for a running back to get into a rhythm when you're not in there getting all the reps and feeling the defense. But we did it the whole season and when you got in there you had to take advantage of it...There's no jealousy on the team at all. We're all out here pulling for each other and trying to make each other better."
The pros and cons of not getting the ball on every play:
"The hard part has been learning to wait for my opportunity. They can't double- and triple-team me the whole game. If they do, that opens up opportunities for the other guys and, once that starts, I know I'm going to get my chance...I feel if I ran the ball 30 times, I could definitely do some damage. But it's a different situation and it's working out"
"Off the field, I'm quiet. On the field, I'm probably the exact opposite of that. Split personality on and off the field."
His experience at the 2004 Heisman Trophy ceremony:
"I'll be back next year."
Returning punts and kicks:
"A punt return is almost like freedom of speech. You get to go out and do whatever you want. It's not a set-up play. You go out and catch the ball and do something for your team. I do what I want. You can't get in trouble. I like doing that. I just get to go out there and express me, my athleticism, my personality, the type of player I am."
How he deals with all the attention: "Stay humble and do everything the right way. You have to represent the team the right way...I don't mind all the attention. But it makes me hungrier. It makes me want to do bigger things."
WHAT OTHERS SAY:
Washington State head coach Bill Doba:
"If you've got a linebacker covering him, you might as well start singing their fight song."
USC Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Matt Leinart:
"Every time Reggie touches the ball, anything can happen...He's an awesome weapon...A lot of people think he's an outside runner, but he's tough. He can run in between the tackles...When he first came to USC, he was running all over our first defense in fall camp, cutting back, reversing his field. We knew he was special. Anytime he has the ball, something big could happen. It's unbelievable what he can do."
Former USC All-American defensive end Kenechi Udeze:
"He's fun to watch. I remember his first day of practice, he must have run a circle around the whole defense and sprinted for a touchdown. Then to see it happen in the games was really funny."
Former USC All-American wide receiver Mike Williams:
"Reggie's the ultimate weapon."
Former USC center Norm Katnik:
"He's a special guy. He can shake people like no other. I almost tackled him two times myself. He has the ability to make people miss."
USC athletic director and 1965 Heisman Trophy-winning tailback Mike Garrett: "He's going to be one of the best ever. He looks like another Gale Sayers."
USC head coach Pete Carroll:
"I told him, 'You're the most valuable guy on the field for what you're creating by your presence.'...The overriding element of his game is he's just got such fantastic hands. You can look at the speed and all the rest, but few guys catch the ball so well. I'm talking about anybody, not just running backs."
Ivan Maisel, ESPN.com:
"He releases adrenaline in every bloodstream the minute he touches the ball."
Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN.com:
"He's a human highlight tape."
Steve Bisheff, Orange County Register:
"Bush is definitely the most exciting player in college football. Bush with the football in an open space is like Barry Bonds at the plate with the bases loaded. Immediately, your senses heighten. Your pulse races. Your eyes refuse to look anywhere else...No one in college football has anyone like him. No one else is even close...The Trojans' flashy hummingbird of an all-purpose player is an amalgam of all the great USC backs through the years."
Steve Kelley, Seattle Times:
"Bush is one-of-a-kind. So good, so versatile, USC's coaching staff is just beginning to see all the ways he can be used. When he touches the ball, defensive coordinators hold their breath. Every play called for him can be a game-breaker. Every touch can be something you'll never forget...Bush zig-zags through defenses as if he has a sixth sense for the location of the next sliver of daylight. He cuts as sharply as a Ferrari in a chicane. He shimmies like a dancer in a music video. A football field is 53 yards wide, and there are plays where Reggie Bush seems to use every inch from sideline to sideline...'The President' is carving exquisite, artful-dodger runs through desperately grasping and gasping defenses. Re-awakening the echoes of all the great Trojan tailbacks who preceded him. Hail to the Chief."
Dennis Dodd, CBS Sportsline.com:
"They call him "The President." They might soon be calling him The King...He is that rare back with the speed and strength to run through the line and the ability to make defenders miss in space when he goes out for a pass...He is a symbol for what USC was, is and will be."
Randy Youngman, Orange County Register:
"Even if he got to carry or catch the ball on every down, I would never get tired of watching Reggie Bush, USC's electrifying running back. Bush has so many open-field moves, he's more elusive than 'The Fugitive.' Now you see him, now you don't...touchdown, Trojans!"
Arash Markazi, Daily Trojan:
"Reggie Bush looks like a creation from a video game-an almost unreal character created by a kid who finds all the secret codes to make his player faster, quicker and better than everyone else on the field...He always makes the impossible seem possible. The scary thing for USC's opponents is that this creation isn't imaginary. He's not from a video game. He's a living, breathing human joystick who terrorizes defenses with his blinding speed and ankle-breaking shimmies...His speed borders on blinding and his knack for eluding defenders borders on ridiculous."
Former Washington head coach Keith Gilbertson:
"I don't care what formation they're in, you better know where No. 5 is, OK? End of story."
Virginia Teach head coach Frank Beamer:
"If he could throw, he'd be Michael Vick."
California head coach Jeff Tedford: "If he's not the best player in the country, he's one of the top, no question...He is so talented than any one-on-one situation, he's going to win. You have to pay attention to where he is."
Former Oregon State quarterback Derek Anderson:
"The kid is unbelievable. I've never seen anything like it, in the NFL or wherever."
Former Stanford head coach Buddy Teevens:
"You can't really stop Bush, to be perfectly honest. He's in a class by himself."
Former Stanford assistant coach Tom Williams:
"He is the most versatile player in the country and, in my opinion, he's the best player in the country."
Arizona State head coach Dirk Koetter:
"He can do it all. Every time he touches the ball, you hold your breath."
Former BYU head coach Gary Crowton:
"He's as good as any receiver on their team, and the next moment, he's running with power, makes one guy miss and he's so fast he can go the distance. He just has the ability to create lots of matchup problems without them changing personnel groups. That's a real luxury they have. It kind of reminds me of Marshall Faulk."
Colorado State head coach Sonny Lubick:
"The thing that makes him so darned good is he's such a confident young guy and he's never out of the play, no matter how bleak it looks, no matter how much you have him surrounded."
Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN:
"The most explosive player in college football is Reggie Bush. The best player in the country wears No. 5 for USC. If you get a chance, check him out. Reggie Bush...He's the most electrifying player in college football. Every time he touches the ball, he can score."
Bud Withers, Seattle Times:
"There is little doubt that Bush is the most dynamic player in the nation. He may not win the Heisman Trophy, but voters ought to think long and hard if defenders' broken ankles, Bush's gasp-inducing cuts and spinning, serpentine dashes matter."
Ted Miller, ESPN.com:
"Bush is Shakespeare. He's gifted with speedy brilliance and flourish. Bush is 200 pounds of sound and fury signifying touchdown. He doth rise from the ground like feathered Mercury striding the heavens...He resembles the elusive Gale Sayers or the versatile Marshall Faulk."
David Leon Moore, USA Today:
"Bush is basically a sworn enemy of a straight line. He's all switchbacks and zigzags, spin moves and ankle-breaking shimmies. Some people even think he is already the most entertaining, and maybe best, college football player in the country...He is a quiet sort, polite, humble, good grades, solid citizen...On a football field, he gets around like nobody else. Here, there, this sideline, that end zone, he's running, receiving, returning, making plays, scoring touchdowns, winning games...He runs with a can't-take-your-eyes-off-him style that seems part Marshall Faulk, part Barry Sanders, part Gale Sayers."
Nick Canepa, San Diego Union-Tribune:
"Bush, who runs like a witch flies, has developed into the most dangerous player in the country."
Jeff Miller, Orange County Register:
"What defenders see are hips and elbows and ankles and forearms and shoe bottoms, all of it twisting and spinning until what remains is a trail of vapor and shadows and empty-armed opponents...USC uses him to create Maalox matchups for the opposition. When Bush is positioned anywhere but the backfield, 10 defenders can be seen pointing and waving, motioning as to his whereabouts."
USC tailback LenDale White:
"He's smooth. He's got mad, crazy speed...If Reggie's not the best there is, he's one of the best. He opens this offense up so much just by being there."
Former USC All-American defensive lineman Shaun Cody: "Practicing against him was great training for us. You want to improve your quickness, try chasing a rabbit around."
Former USC tight end Alex Holmes:
"When he's in, you heard linebackers screaming every time. They were all shouting about 'No. 5.' Reggie is a guy who literally changes the game just by being out there."
Former USC All-American linebacker Lofa Tatupu:
"We just sat back on Saturday and watched the show...Not to take credit away from the offensive line because they've done a great job, but Reggie sets up his blocks so well that they can miss their man completely and he still gets through...I've even told guys on the other team, 'Don't feel bad. He got me with that play twice this week in practice, too.'"
Former USC cornerback Kevin Arbet:
"He's the best player I've ever played with or against. When he's running an option route against you, you just have to guess. It's impossible."
Patrick Kinmartin, Daily Trojan:
"His combination of track-sprinter speed and music-video shiftiness makes him a one-man show."
Dan Weber, Riverside Press-Telegram:
"Bush awes his teammates daily with his ability to get to full speed on his second step."
Todd Harmonson, Orange County Register:
"Bush is a highlight-show fixture with physiology-defying, did-he-do-that moves. The easy comparison is to Marshall Faulk because of the similarity in all-around games, but those who saw Gale Sayers recognize the speed, spins and spellbinding cuts...He is a speed demon who sees Christmas morning when a linebacker tries to defend him and a winnable challenge when a quick corner draws the assignment...Off the field, Bush is a quiet leader who is on track to graduate in 3 ½ years."
Phil Collin, South Bay Daily Breeze:
"Around USC now, they're simply wondering what Reggie will come up with next. The thing is, they know it's coming. Opponents do too...As brilliant as he can be on the football field, Bush is simply that humble off of it. He smiles sheepishly at the mention of his nickname, 'The President.'"
Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times:
"Keith Gilbertson half-jokingly labeled the situation unfair. Bill Doba called the potential problems monstrous. Mike Riley found only one word to describe it-horrible. That's what these Pac-10 coaches said when asked to assess difficulties created for defenses when Reggie Bush lines up as a receiver."
Michael Ventre, MSNBC.com:
"Bush is young and multi-talented. He's a running back. He's a receiver. He's a kick returner. He's a punt returner. He's even a passer. If you try to pigeonhole him, you'd better have lots of pigeonholes...Bush can stop on a dime, give you nine cents change, then blow past you before you can bend to pick it up...When it comes to pure, all-around, pound-for-pound value from a college football player, it's hard to beat what Bush brings to the table...He's a genuine once-in-a-generation player...And he's a good kid-smart, down to earth, respectful of others yet supremely confident...He has turned a run-of-the-mill punt return into an event. He causes teams to kick away from him on kickoffs. When he comes into the game, defenders cast desperate looks at their sideline for advice."
GAME-BY-GAME WITH REGGIE BUSH
BUSH'S 2005 PLAYS OF 20+ YARDS
|Hawaii||2 (41 TD, 20)|
|Notre Dame||5 (36 TD, 21, 45 TD, 22, 20)|
|Washington||2 (84 TD, 21)|
|Fresno St.||10 (28, 65, 30, 21, 35, 45 TD, 25, 50 TD, 20, 43)|
REGGIE BUSH'S 2004 ALL-PURPOSE YARDS VS. ALL-PURPOSE HEISMAN WINNERS
|Tim Brown||Notre Dame||1987||1847||167.9|