Pittsburgh Steelers rookie inside linebacker Devin Bush, the team’s first-round draft pick this year, received a prestigious award on Thursday as he was named the 2018-2019 Male Athlete of the Year by Michigan. He is the 12th Michigan football player to be named Male Athlete of the Year, the first since Jabrill Peppers in 2017.
Bush, who was named the 2018 Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year by the Big 10 conference as well as the Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year for his play at Michigan during the 2018-19 season, which included him registering 78 total tackles with 5 sacks.
Below are the highlights of Bush’s football career at Michigan per the school’s press release.
Bush was the signal-caller and leading tackler for the Wolverines’ top-three total defense nationally the past two seasons; second in 2018 and third in 2017. As a junior in 2018, Bush was selected as an NCAA consensus All-American after being named the Nagurski-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and the Butkus-Fitzgerald Big Ten Linebacker of the Year. He led the team with 80 tackles, including 9.5 for loss, five sacks and six pass breakups after being voted a team captain by his teammates prior to the season. Bush was a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation’s top defensive player and the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker.
He was the 10th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was the 19th player in school history to be chosen in the top 10 of the draft and the first top-10 pick for the Wolverines since offensive tackle Jake Long was selected No. 1 by the Miami Dolphins in 2008. Bush was also the fourth Michigan defender chosen in the top 10, and the first Wolverine since Charles Woodson was drafted with the fourth overall pick by the Oakland Raiders in 1998.
Bush was a three-year letterman and two-year starter at middle linebacker, leading the team in tackles in consecutive seasons. A two-time finalist for the Butkus Award, he started 25 games in the middle and played in 39 career contests. Bush accumulated 194 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, one interception and 17 pass breakups during his career. He was a two-time All-Big Ten first team selection (2017-18) on the field and twice earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in the classroom.
During a Thursday morning interview on 93.7 The Fan, Bush talked some about how him playing his college football at Michigan and in the Big 10 conference greatly helped him prepare to play in the NFL with the Steelers.
“Playing in the Big 10 and playing teams every year- Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State – and those were all big games,” Bush said. “So, playing in the Big 10 and playing in front of that many people in those big venues, where football is everything, you’re already ready for the pressure moments. You’re already ready for the big moments. You’re already ready for when it gets down and it gets gritty and you’ve got to make a play, or keep your team high, or keep your team ready. So, I mean, it just prepares you for everything that the NFL’s going to bring, because every week is a big weekend in the NFL. You know, you play the same team twice in a year, you know, so it just gets you ready for moments like that.”