||Bishop Denis J O'Connell HS, Arlington, VA|
Bush Hamdan was hobbled much of last season with a stress fracture near his right foot. Despite suffering the injury only a couple of games into the season, he persevered and still managed to throw for roughly 1,200 and 12 touchdowns in just 9 games.
"They just put me in shotgun," Bush said. "I had a soft cast on, so I did play, but I wasn't really mobile or anything."
Bush wore the soft cast for about 4 or 5 games. The injury obviously prevented him from putting up big numbers and having an impressive highlight film to help promote himself.
"I talked to Bob Johnson when I was at the Redskins game the other day watching my brother. He's Rob Johnson's dad and the guy who runs the Elite 11. He said that people want to see me on film. That was a big thing with the whole Elite 11 (not making the final cut for an invite). On film, I need to come out and have a strong year, because in shorts and a t-shirt, he said I was definitely a guy who was in consideration for the Elite 11."
After watching Hamdan during the EA SPORTS Elite 11 Quarterback Regional Workout in Las Vegas in late June, Greg Biggins of Student Sports said, "Bush and Nate Longshore were the top two of the day and Hamdan was the most consistent. He spins it every time and is very accurate. Because of his injury as a junior, he doesn't have much of a game or highlight tape; if so, he'd be a lock for the EA SPORTS Elite 11 and have 30 offers by now."
Hamdan won't have to wait much longer for the chance to show what he can do when it counts. His first regular season game takes place this Saturday. He's played well in 2 scrimmages already, throwing 3 touchdowns in the first half of the most recent contest.
Bush has been receiving mail from Penn State, UCLA, Maryland and Syracuse to name a few. Who are his current favorites?
"It's still pretty much the same 4 or 5 schools: Syracuse, Penn State, Maryland and UCLA."
When LionNews spoke with Bush at the beginning of July, he said UCLA was his favorite followed in order by Penn State, Syracuse, Maryland and Virginia. Has that changed any?
"With the whole Chad Henne thing at Penn State, it kind of brings you to liking Penn State a little bit more, but there are a lot of things in UCLA that I really, really like. I took a visit there this summer for a one day workout and I really liked the staff and everything over there. I was treated really well and overall had a really good time there, but I like a lot of the things Penn State offers too. It's a big-time program with a chance to come in and play right away.
"I'm just trying to find the best situation out there for me because I really feel once you get to college, everybody talent-wise is good and you just have to find a place for you, find a place that's been successful in the past. So, my top two are still UCLA and Penn State, but I like Maryland a lot and I like Syracuse like I said before."
The commitment of Henne to Michigan earlier this month makes PSU more attractive to Hamdan.
"I know they were disappointed not to get [Henne], but at the same time, for a guy like me and the situation that Penn State brings, I'm definitely interested to see what's going to happen with that."
Several teams are taking a wait-and-see approach to their recruitment of Hamdan.
"Maryland and some other teams have said how I play in my first 3 games will determine their thoughts on offering me. I just want to go out and feel real confident about having a good season this year and I think the rest of it will take care of itself."
In addition to attending the Nike Camp at Penn State, he attended summer camp in State College for 3 days. He has attended PSU camp the past few years.
"I also went to Maryland for one day, to Syracuse for 3 days and I went to UCLA for a one day workout. When I was at UCLA, we won the whole camp tournament the day I was there, so it was a really good experience. It was like a 7-on-7 passing tournament and the funny thing was that the day before, Matt Tuiasosopo had the same team I had and then he left after one day and I came in, took over that team, and we won the championship."
Larry Johnson and Jay Paterno are recruiting Bush for Penn State.
"I also have a good relationship with Coach Carter, the wide-receivers coach. I have a great relationship with him. He's a great guy. I feel I can call him at any time and just talk to him in general."
Bush may not have the size that some of the more heavily recruited quarterback prospects have, but he doesn't lack confidence in his abilities.
"I definitely feel arm-wise, from going to the national events I went to in Vegas and stuff, there are a lot of guys who have been offered by all these places, who arm-strength-wise and accuracy-wise, I don't feel like they're there with me. I've got my speed down to about about a 4.73, 4.75, so I've improved that. Basically, game experience is something that's pretty big with me and I know that size is something that people are wondering about, but if you have good feet, I really think you can open up passing lanes and see things just as well as any 6'5" quarterback. I really feel I can compete at the big-time DI level and I'm ready to show that this year."