By: Jim Halley, USA TODAY High School Sports | June 30, 2017
BEAVERTON, Ore. — Tommy Bush hasn’t played a down of real football since last December, yet his ranking has improved in nearly every recruiting service because of what he’s shown he can do at various combines and camps.
It’s easy to see what the scouts like. The Clemens (Schertz, Texas) receiver is 6-5 and 190 pounds, runs a 4.47 40-yard dash and has no problem hauling in passes. He was his team’s leading receiver last season, but he only caught 25 passes for 395 yards and five touchdowns because the Buffaloes ran nearly 70 percent of the time.
He was looking forward to playing in the 7-on-7 competition this week at The Opening, where there’s nothing but passing.
“It’s crazy, there’s a lot of great talent out here,” Bush said.
Bush has more than 44 offers. Margin Hooks, a Dallas-based coach who played wide receiver for Brigham Young and in the NFL and CFL and has worked with Bush, said the biggest thing Bush needs to work on is technique and utilizing his advantages.
“He has long legs and long arms,” Hooks said. “I know he can run down the field and catch. At the next level, he has to be able to change directions. He’s still learning to use his size and with him, it’s all about polishing him, becoming smoother.”
Hooks said Bush hasn’t been affected by all his recent recruiting attention and remains easy to coach. At the opening, Bush is getting pointers from Jerry Rice and Larry Fitzgerald.
Words from the 🐐 himself.
— The Opening (@TheOpening) June 29, 2017
“It’s amazing to see all the good receivers out here, just talking with them and they’re giving me advice,” Bush said. “All the things they are teaching me will make me that much better.”
His high school team has already finished its 7-on-7 season, so the chance to get a little more 7-on-7 work here helps him, he said.
“At your school, there might be you and one other really good athlete, but out here, there are so many variations of receivers,” Bush said.
Hooks said now that scouts are seeing more of Bush, they will look harder for any weaknesses in his game. His job is to make sure there aren’t any and to remind him that he belongs with all the other top receivers.
“He’s still learning to use his size,” Hooks said. “He’s already improved since earlier this spring. I tell him, you have to play big. He doesn’t need to be a finesse guy. He needs to use his body and arms to get separation.”