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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, January 2, 2006

No rivalry between stars, says USC's Bush

By ken peters
Associated Press


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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. Southern California-Texas isn't the only 1-2 matchup in the Rose Bowl. There's this little deal between Reggie Bush and Vince Young.

It started at the Heisman Trophy ceremony, when Bush won and Young finished second. The USC tailback celebrated; the Texas quarterback said he was disappointed and felt he'd let down his team and family.

"I surely didn't expect for him to make the comments that he made," Bush said yesterday. "He seems like a great guy, a normal guy, so I don't have any negative thoughts about him.

"I wouldn't say there was an edge, but you've got that competitive nature, you want to win."

Asked if he avoided talking to Young at the awards presentation in New York last month, Bush said, "I don't think I was giving him the cold shoulder at all."

"That was a special moment for all of us. I was just trying to focus on the whole thing," he said.

During an outing at Disneyland last week, Young clearly nodded toward USC quarterback Matt Leinart when players on both teams passed one another. Young made no such gesture toward Bush.

The top-ranked Trojans and No. 2 Texas meet Wednesday in the Rose Bowl.

"He's already made it clear that he wants to try to make it a platform, so what can you do?" Bush said.

Bush is expected to pass up his final year of eligibility to enter the NFL draft. Young has said he intends to return next fall for his senior season.

Bush insisted he won't decide whether to turn pro until sometime after the Rose Bowl. Hours before the Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers played, he said he might try to watch some of the so-called "Bush Bowl."

Houston lost and is assured the No. 1 pick in the draft, and many predict Bush would be taken first if available. The 49ers the team Bush said he liked best as a kid won 20-17 in overtime.

"I won't be rooting for anybody, just be watching the game," Bush said. "I'm hoping for Alex (Smith) to do something."

Quarterback Smith, a high school teammate of Bush's in San Diego, was picked by the 49ers last year as the overall No. 1 choice.