In his new book "Win Forever", Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll says in retrospect, he is not sure why he hesitated in signing Reggie Bush to a scholarship at USC.
Says Carroll: "There is probably no better example of someone contributing from the outset than former Trojan Reggie Bush. It's amazing that it took us so long to decide to offer Reggie a scholarship because his film was so unusual that we couldn't really tell what sort of player he would turn out to be.
"When I'm looking at prospects, the most important things I'm looking for are competitive will and love of the game. It was obvious Reggie had extraordinary talent, but it was his desire to separate from the crowd to be special that we questioned.
"With Reggie, it was just so easy for him in high school that it was hard to tell. I must have watched his high school film thirty times, and time after time he was jogging in the end zone with no one else in the frame.
"I remember during one of our recruiting meetings I learned that his high school quarterback was Alex Smith, who would go to play at Utah and eventually be selected by the 49ers as the first pick of the 2005 NFL draft.
"For all the times I studied those tapes before making a decision, I had never noticed Alex—I just couldn't take my eyes off Reggie. He was just so fast. Once we got him to USC, it only took a few minutes into the first practice to see that he was going to be a great contributor, but until we knew that, we could only hope that in addition to his extraordinary talent, he had the competitive drive.
"He did, of course—in a tremendous way, as he left USC with a Heisman Trophy and as an All-American, and this past season helped the New Orleans Saints become Super Bowl champions."