Big Ten Football Top 150 Players: No. 105, Gary Bush, Purdue WR
105. Gary Bush, No. 6, WR, Purdue
2011 Stats: 29 catches, 310 yards, 3 TDs
One of the rising stars of the 2012 season could quite easily be Gary Bush, a junior-to-be Boilermaker wideout. His athleticism is remarkable and he just joined the Purdue track team as a long jumper this winter. He can make plays on the ball in space and he can burn all but the fastest defensive backs if given the space and route to do so.
Bush's athletic gifts are undeniable, but his actual receiving skills aren't strong enough for him to overcome shakiness at QB, as was directly evident last season. It wasn't until the Little Caesar's Bowl last year (6 catches, 90 yards, 1 TD) that he even looked like he could be a serious problem for opposing defenses in the first place. His route-running needs work, but that's every bit a matter of practice and repetition as anything else, and Bush is in position to make progress here.
Bush is one of a trio of athletic and productive wideouts on the Purdue roster, and of the three he's almost certainly in Danny Hope's best graces; Antavian Edison recently escaped weapons charges after being pulled over with a gun in his car, and O.J. Ross just made it back onto scholarship last month after academic challenges took him away from the program before last year's bowl game.
With that said, this is Purdue's strongest and deepest offense in years, so as long as the health situation cooperates in a reasonable fashion, look for 40, maybe even 50 catches and somewhere around 600 yards and a handful of touchdowns for Bush. In a remarkably weak year for Big Ten wideouts, that could be worth some consideration for, say, Second Team All-Big Ten.
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