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Reggie Bush Recalls ‘Fighting Thoughts of Suicide’ Before Being Drafted by the New Orleans Saints

Reggie Bush Experienced Thoughts of Suicide Before New Orleans Draft
Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

Reggie Bush is opening up about how being drafted by the New Orleans Saints was a powerful turning point in his life.

Bush, 39, appeared on CBS Mornings on Friday, April 26, and reflected on the events leading up to him joining the NFL in 2006. “When I think I’m at my weakest point and when I’m dealing with depression, fighting thoughts of suicide, there’s an entire city there to embrace me and to lift me up, and to give me an opportunity to go out, once again, to prove myself,” he said.

Before being selected by the Saints, Bush was a running back at University of Southern California and won the Heisman Trophy in 2005. Soon after, he was accused of receiving money and goods from his college, which went against NCAA rules. An investigation was launched, and he ultimately forfeited his 2005 Heisman Trophy as a result in 2010.

More than a decade after the “pay-to-play” scandal, the Heisman Trust announced on Wednesday, April 24, that Bush’s trophy would be returned to him, citing “enormous changes” in college athletics. He shared a photo of himself reunited with his prize via Instagram, captioning the photo, “No one can take from you what God has for you.”

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Friends, fellow athletes and fans took to the comments section to celebrate the milestone. “Finally!!👏🏾✌🏾,” track and field Olympian Allyson Felix wrote. “One of the greatest to ever do it. Welcome back my brother 🤞🏼,” former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel added.

Reggie Bush Experienced Thoughts of Suicide Before New Orleans Draft
Reggie Bush at the New Orleans Saints first round 2006 NFL draft pick Paul Spinelli/Getty Images

While at USC in 2005, Bush gained more than 2000 yards from scrimmage and scored 18 touchdowns. Getting his trophy back felt like something he’d “manifested for so long,” the athlete told CBS.

“You’ve been through the ups and the downs for so many years — I’ve cried over it, I have — but I felt like at this point, I was just taking it in and just being happy and just enjoying the moment, and just knowing that we did this,” he said.

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When asked how it felt to hold the trophy again all these years later, Bush quipped, “It was heavy as I remembered. I was like, ‘Yep, it’s still heavy.'”

Bush played for the New Orleans Saints from 2006 to 2010, nabbing the Super Bowl XLIV win during his final year on the team. He later played for the Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills before announcing his retirement in 2017. Bush went on to work as a commentator and studio analyst for Fox Sports.

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