Reginald Alfred "Reggie" Bush II (born March 2, 1985) is a professional football player who plays for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League. He has played running back/tailback, wide receiver and punt returner. Bush played college football at the University of Southern California in 2003–2005.
Bush won multiple collegiate awards, including the 2005 Heisman Trophy, but allegations that he received improper benefits were central to a controversy surrounding the USC program that led to severe NCAA sanctions against USC, including a two-year postseason ban, the loss of football scholarships and the vacating of wins in the 2004-05 championship season. Since the NCAA also retroactively stripped Bush of his eligibility, the status of the many awards he won in 2005 is in question. On September 14, 2010, Bush voluntarily gave up his Heisman Trophy.
With the Saints, Bush won a Super Bowl title in 2010.
Before attending USC, Bush was a running back out of Helix High School in La Mesa, California. When head coach Pete Carroll recruited Bush for USC, he envisioned using Bush as a five-way threat. The freshman quickly proved effective in carrying, catching, throwing and returning the ball. Bush was a consensus First-team Freshman All-American selection in 2003, and became the first Trojan since Anthony Davis in 1974 to lead the Pac-10 in kickoff returns. His 1,331 all-purpose yards set a USC freshman record. The ESPN Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year also amassed 521 yards rushing that year, with three touchdowns on 90 carries.
In 2004, Bush finished fifth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy and was named the team's MVP. He earned consensus All-American honors and was a finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. He finished second on the team with 143 carries for 908 yards (6.3 avg) and six touchdowns, adding 509 yards and seven scores on 43 receptions (11.8 avg). Bush returned 21 kickoffs for 537 yards (25.6 avg) and 24 punts for 376 yards (15.7 avg) and a pair of touchdowns. He became the first Trojan since Marcus Allen to lead the Pac-10 in all-purpose yardage, totaling 2,330 yards. He also threw for one touchdown, tossing a 52-yard scoring strike.In 2005 Bush was a unanimous First-team All-American and winner of the Heisman Trophy. He was also named the Associated Press College Football Player of the Year, the Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C. Offensive Player of the Year, and the Touchdown Club of Columbus (Ohio) Player of the Year. In addition to the Walter Camp Award, Bush also won the Doak Walker Award, which is given to the nation's best running back. He led the nation with an average of 222.3 all-purpose yards per game and finished fourth in the NCAA Division I-A ranks with an average of 133.85 rushing yards per game. He set the Pac-10 record for total yards from scrimmage with 513 (294 rushing, 68 receiving, 151 return) in a game against the Fresno State Bulldogs on November 19, 2005. Bush also became known for the "Bush Push," which occurred on a game-winning score against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Bush led the Trojans with 1,740 yards on 200 carries (8.7 avg) with sixteen touchdowns and ranked third on the squad with 39 receptions for 481 yards (12.9 avg), including a pair of scores as a junior. He returned 18 punts for 179 yards (9.9 avg) and a touchdown, and gained 493 yards on 28 kickoff returns (17.6 avg).
Bush started only fourteen times in 39 games at USC. However, he finished tenth in NCAA Division I-A history with 6,541 all-purpose yards, racking up 3,169 yards and 25 touchdowns on 433 carries (7.3 avg) and 1,301 yards with thirteen scores on 95 catches (13.7 avg). Bush returned 67 kickoffs for 1,522 yards and a touchdown, adding 559 yards and three scores on 44 punt returns (12.7 avg). He also completed one of three pass attempts for a 52-yard touchdown.Legacy
By the end of the 2005 season, Bush had amassed 2,611 all-purpose yards and scored 18 touchdowns (15 rushing, 2 receiving, 1 punt return). He was awarded the Heisman Trophy on December 10, 2005. He had 784 first-place votes while University of Texas Longhorns quarterback Vince Young finished second with 79 first-place votes, an overall edge in voting points of 2,541 to Young's 1,608. Teammate Matt Leinart came in third with 18 first-place votes. Bush had the second most first-place votes and the second-highest total points in the history of Heisman voting at that time, behind only O.J. Simpson's 855 in 1968. Bush became the 71st winner of the Heisman Trophy, and the seventh USC player to receive the award. In addition to his Heisman Trophy, Bush also won the Doak Walker Award and Walter Camp Award, and was selected as the Pac-10's offensive player of the year.
On January 4, 2006, Bush and Leinart became the first pair of Heisman Trophy winners to play together in a single game, against the Longhorns in the Rose Bowl. Bush amassed a total of 279 all-purpose yards (82 rushing yards, 95 receiving yards, 102 kickoff return yards) and one touchdown, but he was overshadowed in a losing effort by Heisman runner-up Vince Young and Bush's teammate LenDale White, who led USC in rushing with 123 yards and three touchdowns. Bush also attempted to lateral when he was tackled after a long run, but the lateral fell to the ground and was recovered by the Longhorns This game gave Bush a total of 6,890 all-purpose yards for his college career.
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