Branko Busick, the Steubenville linebacker whose father is former WWF wrestler Big Billy Busick, is a developing player that could wind up with some big offers in the future. Early in the recruiting season, he’s still learning the ropes, seeing the way things play out and just enjoying the ride.
“I went up to Penn State for a game,” said Busick, who wrestles at 215 pounds, but normally tips the scales at about 225. “They sent me tickets and me and my mom went up. I got to meet the coaches and stuff before the game and I was able to be on the field. That was a great experience. I’m looking to go again for their junior day.”
It’s not only Penn State that is talking to the junior; schools from other neighboring states have been corresponding as well.
“I got a lot of stuff from West Virginia when Coach Rodriguez was there,” Busick said. “Since he slipped out, I’ve gotten some stuff from the new coach (Bill Stewart), but not as much.’
Given the style of the head coach and the way he has targeted Ohio recruits, it might not be a surprise to hear who else is in touch with Busick, who had 98 tackles in 2007.
“Illinois and Iowa have been sending me tons of letters and stuff like that,” said Busick. “I really like Illinois. I like the players that they have there. There’s something about them; I like them.”
Looking at his dream schools and where he might like to go if he could choose anywhere, Busick said, “I was always a Miami Hurricanes fan. I’m a really big fan of Sean Taylor. And of course, as a linebacker, I’ve always liked Ray Lewis. But I like Penn State. It’s a good school for linebackers. I like Ohio State a lot, too. Two coaches came down to the school the other day. I got a chance to talk to them. Hopefully, I can go to a camp up there and I can see what’s going on with that.”
Playing the game they way the greats have played it; in the legacy of linebackers like Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary and Lewis, takes the right mentality. Busick seems to have that.
“I like to play vicious,” Busick explained, noting that his dad taught him that aspect of his game. “Being aggressive. I like to make a nice, mean tackle. I like to constantly attack. I like to stop the run. One of my favorite things is when I see the iso coming at me, I just mess up everything.”
While he’s a player that likes to attack, he knows that speed is what will help him the most at the next level.
“My speed’s not terrible, but I can always get faster,” said Busick. “That definitely helps. In a game, I can definitely fly around. I’d like to get my 40 speed down.”
Concentrating on wrestling right now, Busick earned his 100th career win last weekend at the district tournament, improving his record this season to 32-1.
Many people correlate wrestling and football, saying that wrestling helps a football player apply leverage and engage the opposing player easier. Busick agrees with that theory.
“I do, as a matter of fact,” said Busick, who has been wrestling since he was four years old. “Wrestlers make good football players and football players make good wrestlers. Ray Lewis was a state champion.”
Busick was invited to the junior combine that the Army sponsors, but was unable to attend in January. Coming up, Busick plans on attending camps, as well as some junior days that he’s been invited to; a list that includes Penn State and Pitt.
“The Ohio State camp, I definitely going to make,” Busick said. “Other than that, it’s wherever my coach sends me. I’ll go there and show them what I got.”
Busick reports a 3.0 grade point average and a 23 on the ACT.