Flanagan (Fla.) teammates Dredrick Snelson and Devin Bush Jr. grew up together and have been friends and teammates for quite some time. In January, they’ll be teaming up while wearing another jersey.
Snelson and Bush were honored Friday as Under Armour All-Americans when they receiver their jerseys for the game as part of the Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance.
“I used to dream about being in the game, I wanted to be like Julio Jones,” Snelson told USA TODAY High School Sports. “I got the opportunity and signed my papers immediately.”
Bush said it was a privilege to receive the invitation and that he’s wanted to play in the game since he watched it in middle school.
“Ever since then, it’s been one of my top goals and dreams to play,” said Bush, who’s only played on national television once when he was in Oregon for Nike’s The Opening.
“Everybody wants to be an All-American, but only a select few get to do it,” said Bush, a four-star inside linebacker. “I’m just grateful I get to do it.”
Snelson took the time to mention how “incredibly blessed” he is to have the opportunity, saying that being selected “is a mind-blowing, humbling experience.”
The players have had a guide through high school football and the recruiting process in Bush’s dad, Devin Sr., the Flanagan coach. Devin Bush Sr. was a standout high school player at Hialeah-Miami Lakes before going on to Florida State, where he was on a national championship team, and becoming a first-round NFL draft pick in 1995. He won a Super Bowl title with the St. Louis Rams.
Like most seniors being recruited by the nation’s premier schools, the two could’t care less about national rankings or what the scouts say.
Devin Bush Jr. (Photo: Intersport)
“As a senior, I don’t really pay attention to the rankings,” Bush said. “I know what time of player I am so I don’t need to pay attention that much.”
“Rankings don’t define me as an All-American,” said Snelson, who wasn’t nearly as soft-spoken. “I could care less about stars.”
He might not care about the stars, but he has them, four of them to be exact. Snelson, ranked No. 98 in ESPN’s 300, has been committed to Minnesota for two months now. That being said, he isn’t completely locked down.
“I’d say I’m 65 percent committed. I’m still open to every school,” said Snelson, who plans on taking other visits to schools that have offered him.
Bush, like Snelson, also is keeping his options open. Still yet to commit, the 5-11, 226-pound linebacker has a top three of Auburn, Florida State and Michigan. Snelson has also been offered by Bush’s top three, so could the teammates be putting on a third jersey together for college next season?
“It could happen,” Snelson said.
Not only do they have the same jerseys, the Flanagan All-Americans have the same mind-set and values, as well.
“I wanna be a person to look up to for young kids and the kids I encounter,” said Bush, citing those who look up to him as his motivation.
Snelson wasn’t much different, saying that if football doesn’t work out as a career he’d want to either buy homes and flip them or start orphanages for kids. Even if he does go to the NFL, he’d want to take his money, donate and give back.
“I would love to give back and give kids something they didn’t have. Being able to provide is a blessing,” Snelson said. “I want to give kids something to look forward to.”
Bush sees himself as a Lavonte David (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) or Jon Beason (New York Giants), saying both are undersized, but extremely skilled and passionate about the game.
For Snelson, a couple of players briefly came to mind.
“I’m not going to say Amari Cooper,” he said laughing. “I’m gonna say, I can’t compare myself to anyone. There’s only one me!”