Name: Ernest “Petie”Bush III
School: North Carolina A&T
Q: What goals did you set and/or accomplish in your final collegiate season?
My goal for this season was to perform with the best speed and accuracy to allow my kickers and punters to have great operations and put our team in positions to win ball games. Both my kicker and punter received all-MEAC Honors as well as my kicker being named an ALL-American. Also my team was co- conference champions and Celebration Bowl champions so I believe my goal was met.
Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?
My coaches would describe as a quiet, hard working player that always comes ready to work on his craft. While my teammates would describe me as a leader who promotes a mentality of keep playing and fighting till the end no matter if something good or bad happens. Always being the first one to pick them up after a bad play or first to congratulate them on a good one.
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on to improve your game?
When I’m in the film room I watch for two things one is myself and how I performed and the second is the punt return team. When looking at myself I try to visualize how each of my snaps felt leaving my hand did it feel good on release or bad. Did I hold it to long or did it feel like I let it go to early. Once I see the placement of the ball I look for how my form looked, a quick transition from initial movement to release followed by proper leg explosion and hand rotation upon release. When reviewing opposing punt return teams I watch for tells from the front line in regards to blocking scheme followed by who is blocking me and how can I exploit him. Next I move to the returner what are his strengths when he catches the ball and where does his tendencies take him after the catch. Finally I’ll look at his plus forty returns when he lets the ball over his head to see if he will show me that he is gonna catch it or not. Maybe he will drop his head when he is trying to sell a fake catch.
Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?
What separates me from others is the speed of my snap and my potential. My snaps are fast and accurate but I believe I can still shave time off my snap to catch by shortening my transition from initial movement to release while still maintaining my speed and power on my ball. Currently that is my primary focus to shorten that while maintaining my current consistency on my operation.
Q: What is your offseason plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities?
Currently I am training in the gym 3 days a week and field work 3 days a week with a focus on speed and agility with one rest day on a program built by a North Carolina Strength and Conditioning. I implement speed and accuracy on my field work days and alternate two extra days to work on improving my initiation release time.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
The strengths I bring to the table are a champions mentally that has been engrained in me since the time I arrived at North Carolina A&T. A focus on the little things that build the foundation for the big things to prosper, while also focusing on finishing whatever task lay ahead of me. Off the field I am working with local young talent to help train them for collegiate opportunities so that I can give back to the community that built me.
Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL or any other pro leagues?
I know my role as a Snapper is to go unnoticed. No one sees the guy who snaps the ball on a game winning field goal or snaps a ball for a guy to kick a 98 yard punt in an all star game but I know that and I embrace it because I don’t do this job for me. I do it for the guys standing beside me fighting to win. I do it for my brothers I sweat with, bled with, and worked with to achieve a common goal no better tasting than victory. If that victory eludes us then I will be the first one to look at my brothers and tell them to not hang their head but let’s use this feeling to push us in the upcoming weeks to strive once again for victory.