Eufaula High School senior Luke Bush overcame a nagging injury — high ankle sprain — early in his high school football career to earn an academic scholarship last week to Samford University in Birmingham where he'll play for the Bulldogs.
Bush played just three games as a sophomore due to the injury, fought through it to have 93 tackles as a junior and played relatively injury-free as a senior to be the team’s second-leading tackler with 78. The last two seasons Eufaula played at the Class 6A level.
Eufaula head coach Ed Rigby said Bush’s excellence in the classroom helped him receive the preferred walk-on offer at the academic-strong Samford.
“This is an honor and we are excited for (Bush),” Rigby said. “Samford is a great fit. It’s a very, very good academic school and it’s not far away from home. His grades, I’m telling you, that’s the difference. It’s opening up doors for others because, like Luke, of their academics.”
Last season, the I-AA Bulldogs finished 5-7, including a loss at Auburn. This season, Samford will play at Florida State in its second game on Sept. 12.
“This is two years of working really, really hard when he couldn’t hardly get in to play because of injuries,” EHS Defensive Coordinator Duane Mock said of Bush. “He is an old-school linebacker. He plays downhill. If he were playing in the 80’s, he would’ve been a middle linebacker because he filled the holes like an old-school cat.
“When he had to come out he would aggravate you on the sideline because he would say ‘Coach, I’m ready to go back in.’”