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Unike many of his four-star peers, Tommy Bush emerged as a well-known athlete later on in his high school career. It's obvious that the 6-foot-5 and 185-pound wide receiver has all the tools to be great. But sometimes, you need time to capture everyone's attention.
And once Bush got his name out there, recruiting got hectic.
"It's crazy right now," Bush told TrojanSports.com. "I'm kind of in a whirlwind. It kind of just fired up for me in February. It really got cranked up where I received almost 26, 27 offers within a month and a half. So I wasn't one of those guys that got recruited as a sophomore. This is all kind of new to me. So I'm just kind of going through it, getting to the schools that I can, talking to the coaches that I can, when I can. And then when the time is right, for my family, hopefully before the season, we'll drop down to probably 15. And out of that 15, we'll pick up five and that's where my official visits will come from."
While the product of Clemens HS in Schertz, Texas works to narrow his options, there's whispers about his recruiting. Apparently, many believe he's staying in or around his state. But Bush insists he's a prospect who's willing to leave home for his college experience.
"I'm trying to listen to everybody, I'm trying to see everything I can see," Bush said. "I've only seen Texas schools. So a lot of people only think I'm staying in Texas. But it's not true. I'm really looking at schools everywhere from Oregon to USC to Notre Dame to Florida State to Alabama to Texas A&M. Wherever I'm the best coached, wherever has the best educational program, the people where my family is going to feel comfortable. Where my mom and dad feel comfortable when dropping me off, that's where I'm going to call home and play ball at."
And his history of moving around provides some evidence that he might be willing to leave the Lone Star State.
"I'm a military child, brat, as they call us" Bush said. "My father retired from the Air Force so moving around doesn't really surprise me or shock me or throw me off. I lived in Germany for almost seven years, I lived in Florida three years. I've only lived in Texas three years, it's going on my fourth year now. So to move is not going to throw me off. It's just one of those things."
That security with moving around has a lot to do with why Bush is looking at every school from coast-to-coast.
"We're trying to get to as many campuses as possible so when I step on campus and step in that weight room, or on the field, that locker room, dorm room, or whatever, then I'll feel at home and I'll feel comfortable," Bush said. "And if they leave me then I'm okay staying there and playing ball there and going to school."
USC is one of the schools Bush will look at. Trojan coaches first extended a scholarship offer six days ago and Bush says USC first made contact "about a month ago." He also knows about playing at USC through a close personal friend.
"Chris Edmondson actually comes from my high school," Bush said. "He's my friend and he left to go to California to go play for USC. So a guy from my high school plays for USC right now."
Edmondson arrived at USC in 2016 and just a year later, Bush is in regular contact with his Edmondson's coaches.
"I've been talking to Coach (Eric) Ziskin," Bush said. "I've been talking to him for a while. And then me and Coach (Tee) Martin have been talking. We just kept talking and touching bases back and forth and direct messaging a little bit. And they just came and asked me if I wanted to be a part of the program. Of course I said absolutely, I would love the opportunity."
He plans to visit USC and it won't be his first time in Southern California. He previously visited Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. but Bush says he was probably four years old at the time. Because his trip out West was so long ago, he hopes to familiarize himself with three different schools in the Golden State.
"We're waiting to put together a trip, me and my family," Bush said." We're working out the details now. We're going down South in the first part of June. And then we're going to work out West where we'll hit Cal, UCLA and USC all at the same time."
Bush also says his visit to USC will be about more than taking a trip to the West Coast.
"USC is just a big tradition," Bush said. With Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart and just the championships that Pete Carroll brought to the Trojans. My dad talks about O.J. Simpson, it's just a storied tradition, you can't overlook those guys. So if they can give me what I need academically and make me feel at home, it's a program that I definitely want to look at."
If he doesn't visit USC in the summer, Bush insists he'll eventually find a way to visit.
"If not, it'll be one of my officials," Bush said.
But that potential visit is far off in the future. Right now, it's spring and Bush is trying to focus on his track season. But football can be hard to ignore. He's been visited by a few name football schools during this evaluation period.
Bush says Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M and UTSA are among the "probably 15 schools" that have visited him so far. He has not been visited by USC yet but he expects the Trojans to stop by.
"I think they will be down this way," Bush said. "They said they would be in the area so I'm almost 99-percent positive they'll be down here to see me."
He's also confident USC will visit because the Trojans have clearly made him a priority. When asked about his conversations with USC, Bush mentioned exactly why the coaches want him on the roster.
"Length, speed on the outside as an X-receiver," Bush said. "To be, basically, a one-on-one matchup."
NICK KRUEGER | rivals.com