Before the NFL Draft in April of 2006, former USC running back Reggie Bush was set to become a Houston Texan. He was ready to explode on the scene and team up with fellow offensive members David Carr, Andre Johnson and Dominick Davis (now Dominick Williams) to turn around a struggling franchise.
What transpired, however, might one day be known as the biggest draft day blunder in NFL history.
Houston passed on Bush with the first overall pick, instead drafting N.C. State defensive end Mario Williams. Bush only fell one spot to the second selection, but that team was the New Orleans Saints, a team coming off a disastrous ’05 campaign filled with serious trials and tribulations. Hurricane Katrina had ripped through the city of New Orleans, leaving many people without homes, jobs and even family members. The Saints were forced out of their home stadium, the SuperDome, instead playing “home” games in New York, San Antonio and Baton Rouge. Bush was shocked that Houston passed on him, but also eager to see what the new adventure had in store for him.
Not many could have predicted what happened next.
The lowly Saints, an organziation that hadn't been to the postseason in five years, rushed out to a 3-0 start before finishing the ’06 season with a 10-6 record. New Orleans hosted its first home game since '00 in the recently redone SuperDome, beating the Philadelphia Eagles 27-24 before eventually falling to the NFC Champion Chicago Bears the following week.
As far Bush went, he not only injected New Orleans with exciting plays and thrilling moments on the field, but also showed the city an outstanding individual off it. He donated $50,000 to help keep Holy Rosary High School, a local Catholic school for students with learning disabilities, from closing and continues to help in the Hurricane Katrina relief fund. On the field, he produced 565 rushing yards, another 742 receiving yards and nine total touchdowns including a game winning, 65-yard punt return against NFC South rival Tampa Bay in Week 5.Since it’s only been one year and Williams plays another position that Bush, it’s not entirely fair to say which team got the better deal in the ’06 draft. Regardless though, it's doubtful many Saints fans would trade Bush for any player out of the '06 draft class.
New Orleans Saints Official Player Bio: Reggie Bush
The New Orleans official website offers personal and career highlights as well as stats and photos on Bush.
NFL.com Player Bio: Reggie Bush
NFL.com offers all of Bush’s season and career stats as well as a brief bio.
Rotoworld Player Page: Reggie Bush
Rotoworld.com has some of the best fantasy reporting and advice on the web. Click on the “Previous News” tab to get current and past information on Reggie Bush for your fantasy football team.
Reggie Bush Wikipedia Page
Find a comprehensive background on Reggie Bush's life and football career at Wikipedia.com.
"Reggie Bush Highlights"
Check out a video montage at YouTube.comof Reggie Bush from his days at USC.
Latest on Reggie:
Bush had to take over the full-time rushing load when Deuce McAllister suffered a season-ending injury early in the year. Bush did well as a reciever, hauling in 73 receptions for 417 yards and two touchdowns, but struggled sometimes running between the tackles as a back. He carried the ball 157 times for only 581 yards, but did have a solid average of 3.7 yards per carry.
News and Commentary
Bush book may bring down USC program
SPORTSbyBROOKS.com posted an interesting piece about Don Yager’s new book, “Tarnished Heisman”. The book is about Reggie Bush's behind-the-scenes dealings at USC, including him and his family accepting up to $291,000 from future business clients.
Reggie’s other role
Read about how Reggie Bush is always thinking about his next charity endeavor at SI.com.
In Bush, New Orleans truly has a Saint on its hands
Both on and off the field, Reggie Bush shows New Orleans how much it really got with the second overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.
Fans put faith in a New Saint
Read why one Louisiana resident viewed Reggie Bush as "Jesus in cleats" after being selecting second overall by the Saints in 2006 at WashingtonPost.com.
On seeing the wreckage left by Hurricane Katrina first hand:
"It's a whole other level. You don't really understand it fully until you see it in person. I was like, 'Man, this is crazy.' "
On what happened when he landed in New Orleans after the draft:
"That's crazy, they were calling me their savior. I don't think I'm their savior. I'm just a middleman. The savior is God for putting me in this position. So for them to call me, like, a savior? That I saved their lives?"
On producing as a rookie in 2006:
"I don't feel like I need to be praised for it. I'm just doing what I think anybody else would do if they were in my position."