Oakland Raiders: The Rise of Michael Bush

James SenbetaCorrespondent IAugust 26, 2008

Reports out of the Oakland Raiders practice have Lane Kiffin giving snaps to Michael Bush at fullback. As the designated short yardage back at halfback, Bush will be given the opportunity to back up Justin Griffith, along with recently claimed Luke Lawton.

Bush has had experience playing multiple positions, offensive and defensive, in his entire football career dating back to high school. At Louisville Male High School he played all the positions but offensive lineman and defensive tackle before starting at quarterback his senior year.

Bush led his team to the Class 6A Kentucky State Championship game, passing for 468 yards and five touchdowns and rushing for 116 yards and another touchdown before succumbing to future teammate Brian Brohm’s Trinity High 59-56.

At the University of Louisville Bush had 2,508 career rushing yards at 5.8 yards per carry, including his breakout junior year as a first time starter charging for 1143 yards on 205 carries and 23 touchdowns along with 253 receiving yards. As a top ten favorite in the 2007 NFL Draft and a Heisman contender, Bush was on track for another brilliant season when he broke his right tibia against state rival Kentucky.

Refusing to wait to play a fifth season in college, Michael Bush entered the draft. Rumored to convert to tight end, Bush remained as a halfback throughout the combine and was selected in the beginning of the fourth round by the Raiders. During his rookie season, he was placed on the physically unable to perform list for Oakland to retain him behind Lamont Jordan, Justin Fargas, and Dominic Rhodes.

The role of fullback could feature Bush as not only an extra runner, but also as an extra tight end in the backfield to compliment Zach Miller. Kiffin has thought very highly of Bush and of his abilities as a complete football player, already promising to play all three of his halfbacks on roster.