Carroll: Bush Is NFL-Ready


USC Coach Pete Carroll said Thursday that he would advise Heisman Trophy-winning tailback Reggie Bush to turn pro if he was emotionally ready to do so because of his projected status as the top running back in the NFL draft.

Bush, a junior, and other draft-eligible players have until Jan. 15 to make themselves available for the April draft.

“I have to talk to him to make sure he’s right for that, but I think that’s good sound thinking,” Carroll said.


Carroll has long maintained that players benefit from completing their eligibility, but he said Bush’s status as the projected top player at his position separates him.

“That’s when you take advantage of going,” Carroll said. “That doesn’t mean you do it because emotionally you might not be ready to or you don’t want to.”

Bush, expected to announce that he will turn pro, is one of several draft-eligible Trojans, including junior running back LenDale White, junior offensive linemen Winston Justice and Fred Matua, junior safety Darnell Bing and junior flanker Steve Smith.

Carroll said, “We’re working round the clock with these guys with their information.”

White met briefly with Carroll on Thursday.

As he left campus, White told reporters he would announce his decision next Thursday.


-- Gary Klein