MORGANTOWN — Figures.
One of the most intriguing recruits West Virginia University coach Bill Stewart pulled in among is 2009 football recruiting class was Branko Busick, a hard-hitting linebacker from Steubenville.
What made Busick so intriguing, however, is his bloodline, for he is the son of former professional wrestler Nick “Big Bully” Busick, one of the most entertaining villains ever to set foot in the World Wrestling Federation ring.
Well, the younger Busick followed in his father’s singlet and combined wrestling with football at Steubenville, and he has decided to do the same at WVU.
In a surprise announcement, Busick was listed among the five recruits coach Craig Turnbull landed this year.
“Branko Busick is coming in with football, but he has a tremendous love and passion for the sport of wrestling,” Turnbull commented in the press release. “He is going to try to blend both sports, and he has been given the blessing from Coach Stewart, which is much appreciated. When he gets the benefit of coming into our program and working with the athletes in here, we think his ceiling is unlimited as well.”
Stewart has said that he would not stand in the way of his football players playing other sports if he felt it would help them and not hurt the program. Two years ago he allowed then-backup quarterback Jarrett Brown to play guard on Bob Huggins’ basketball team and said he would not have stood in the way of quarterback Patrick White playing baseball if he so desired.
A native of Weirton, Busick is a two-time district and sectional champion under coach Mike Blackburn at Steubenville High. He has placed twice at nationals, finishing third and fifth, and earned as high as third place in the Ohio state tournament.
Busick’s senior year he posted a 45-1 record while finishing sixth in the state tournament. He finished his high school career with a 153-21 record.
MORGANTOWN — Figures.
- Bob Herzel
HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism
This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.
This is a time of year when no one has lost a game, not even Charlie Weis at Kansas, and it’s a time of year when opinions are more plentiful than tattoos in an NFL locker room.
HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers’ footsteps
A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.
The criticism was not unfounded, of course, although behind each incomplete pass there was the pain Trickett was suffering through to throw it, his rotator cuff in need of surgery.
HERTZEL COLUMN: O’Toole joins long list of eccentric WVU kickers, punters
The star of the Big 12’s annual football media day wasn’t a star at all.
He intrigued the media far more than Bob Stoops, the coach of preseason favorite Oklahoma, and more than Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, the preseason player of the year.
WVU, N.C. State to meet in football
Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.
The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.
HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention
When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.
Holgorsen’s program hits turning point
You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.
Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success
In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.
Saban, family happy at Alabama
Alabama football coach Nick Saban, whose team opens the season against West Virginia in Atlanta on Aug. 30, denied receiving or turning down this offseason an offer of $100 million to coach Texas, indicating he planned to finish his career as coach of the Crimson Tide.
HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Quarterback child prodigy’ comes to WVU amidst very high expectations
Has West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen finally put the arrow he needs in his quiver with the commitment received Wednesday from high school quarterback David Sills, who is a rather extraordinary story and may also just be a rather extraordinary quarterback?
WVU kicker Molinari ‘All-American boy’
West Virginia kicker Mike Molinari may not be an All-American but he is an All-American boy.
He was honored for that on Wednesday when the Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association announced the West Virginia redshirt senior kicker/punter Michael Molinari is a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.
- More Bob Herzel Headlines
- HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism