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Bush: 'That was everything'

They were the words Devin Bush Jr. always hoped to hear.

And they weren't the ones spoken by Steelers legend Joe Greene when he announced Bush as the Steelers No. 1 draft pick on Thursday night.

These words, they had much deeper meaning.

His entire life there was someone Devin Bush, the linebacker from Michigan who the Steelers traded up 10 spots to select in the first round, has looked up to.

His father, Devin Bush Sr.

His dad played college football at Florida State, then went on to be the first-round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons in the 1995 NFL Draft, the 26th overall pick that year. He played eight seasons in the NFL with the Falcons, St. Louis Rams and Cleveland Browns.

And all his son wanted, was to one day be better than his dad at the game they both love so much.

"I always wanted to be better than him, always wanted that," said Bush, shortly after getting off a plane in Pittsburgh where he was welcomed by Steelers fans with loud cheers. "He pushed me a ton. That was always my goal. That has always been the goal, be better and if you want to do it, do it for you. At the same time there was competition. He set some standards and I always wanted to exceed it."

Bush, who will wear No. 55, always kept that competitive spirit, always had that drive to be better than his dad. But he never knew if he would hear what he heard on Friday morning, just before he was set to board a plane to Pittsburgh.

"My dad said it to me right before I got on the plane. He said you are better than me so go do your thing. You always wanted to be better than me, so this is you," said Bush with a huge smile on his face and a glint in his eyes. "I was happy. It was a lot of love. A lot of support. That is my father. I respect him as a man and father. Everything he is. I thank him for what he has done for me and my family.

"Hearing my dad say that, it's better than the best. It's better than hearing my name announced at the draft. That is something I always looked for. That is acceptance. That was everything. To get that is crazy."

That moment in a sense put a bow on what has been an incredible, but crazy and hectic, few days for Bush. From the moment the Broncos were on the clock, he was thinking maybe this is my time. Then he saw there was a trade and suddenly the Steelers were on the clock.

And then his phone rang. And on the other end – it was in fact his time, but he was headed to Pittsburgh.

"It's been unbelievable," said Bush. "Everything is kind of surreal right now. There are still a lot of emotions built up. I don't know how to feel. I just know I am a Steeler. I am happy right now. I am happy the Steelers took a chance on me and believed in me as a player. They changed my family's life. Not just being a pro football player but having that moment as a family."

And while it was the same as hearing the words his dad spoke, hearing his name being read at the draft is something that will stay with him forever.

"It's everything you can dream of and then some," said Bush. "You can't really rehearse it in your head. It's one of those things you hear it and it sticks forever.

"There was so much excitement, trying to think, trying to grab on to the fact that I am a professional now. This is what I have dreamt of. I have worked so hard for this goal. To finally accomplish it is crazy."

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