Devin Bush will wear #55 his rookie season and in all likelihood, for remainder of his Pittsburgh Steelers career. The luxury of being a first rounder means you basically get to pick your number and not lose out to someone else, like Benny Snell did, having to settle for 24 with Mark Barron keeping 26.
So why 55? Bush explained why on Friday.
“I know Joey Porter wore it,” he told reporters. “Great linebacker here. Always wanted to wear #10 again. So add five and five together and you get ten.”
Porter, third round pick by the Steelers in 1999, spent eight years with the team, leaving it with 60 sacks. Twice, he notched double-digit sacks and helped win one for the thumb, part of that elite defense that led the team in their Super Bowl XL victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Porter had three sacks in that postseason run, helping Pittsburgh to become the first #6 seed to win it all.
Bush will be the first Steeler to wear #55 in a regular season game since Arthur Moats in 2017. Since Porter, that number has also been worn by Patrick Bailey and Stevenson Sylvester. Choosing 55 also pays homage to one of his mentors and greatest linebackers in NFL history.
“Derrick Brooks. Probably the biggest person I looked up to wearing 55. So I look forward to carrying on the legacy.”
Brooks, his godfather, and Ray Lewis have known the Bush family for years. The relationship with Brooks dates back to his dad’s time at Florida State, where the two men were teammates and quickly became great friends. Devin Sr. went on to win a Super Bowl with the Rams while Brooks got his ring three years later and turned in a Hall of Fame career, inducted to Canton in 2014.
Although the rest of the rookie numbers are subject to change, odds are they won’t for 2019. Last year, none of the draft picks switched numbers at any point during the season. Though as we’ve seen before with players like Sean Davis and Mike Hilton, players do change numbers throughout their career.