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Being No. 1 Always Reggie Bush's Top Priority

By WENDELL BARNHOUSE | Star-Telegram Staff Writer

When he was recruited as a high school star, Reggie Bush was able to decide his own fate and future.

Now, as a potential No. 1 selection in April's NFL Draft, Reggie Bush is powerless. All he can do is wait.

"All you can control is getting yourself ready and working as hard as you can to be the No. 1 pick," Reggie Bush said. "Being the No. 1 pick is important to me."

Reggie Bush was honored Tuesday night in Dallas as the 2005 winner of the Doak Walker Award. Former TCU running back Jim Swink was honored as the Doak Walker Legends Award winner.

Reggie Bush, who skipped his senior season with the Trojans to make himself available for the NFL Draft, added the Walker Award to the Heisman Trophy he won in December.

Then came USC's 41-38 loss to Texas in the Rose Bowl, an outcome that denied the Trojans a place in history with three consecutive national championships.

"Nobody likes to lose and especially in a dramatic fashion," Reggie Bush said. "It was tough to get over that, but I had to keep the mindset that you can't win every game. You've got to congratulate Texas . You can't say we were cheated. They beat us."

Defeat is something that Reggie Bush might have to get used to if the Houston Texans keep the No. 1 pick and make him their selection.

Between now and draft day, Reggie Bush understands that there will be plenty of talk about who's drafting who.

"There's already been a lot of speculation, and I know there's gonna be more," Reggie Bush said. "People are gonna talk. I'm not paying any attention to any of it."

After two seasons of being a combination runner/receiver/returner for the Trojans, Reggie Bush spent his junior season proving he could be a full-time running back.

Reggie Bush gained 1,658 yards and scored 18 touchdowns as the Trojans went 12-0 in the regular season. He averaged 10.1 yards per touch while leading Division I in all-purpose yardage.

With 4.25 speed in the 40-yard dash, Reggie Bush could be a game-breaker ... if the NFL game doesn't break him first.

After what he called "the longest three days of his life" at the recently completed NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis , Reggie Bush understands that his size -- officially, he's 5-11 3/4 and 201 pounds -- will remain a question until he proves himself.

"The combine was like a meat market, but with the money they're spending for contracts, I understand why they want to check everything out," he said. "As far as my size, they gotta pick on something. I feel I can be an every-down back."


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