PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Matt Bushman admits it is a little strange working out with his BYU teammates with so much uncertainty about the season.
“It is weird,” he said. “We’re so close to where the season could start. But it’s like, man, it could pushed back, it could get cancelled. We’re just going to keep working expecting like we’re going to be playing in September.”
Bushman could have left BYU a year early to enter the NFL Draft after last season, but he felt it was best to come back for his senior.
“Obviously for the family, for my wife and I, this is the dream,” said Bushman, who had 47 catches for 688 yards and four touchdowns in 2019. “This would be really awesome and really exciting to be able to take that step and to be in the NFL. For me, it’s been my dream since I was a little kid. But at the end of the day, even though I wanted to take that jump. It just felt better to stay back for my senior year. Just knowing that it was the right thing to do keeps me at ease. I don’t have any regrets. Hopefully I can have a season to showcase the hard work I’ve put in, and hopefully I can be in a better spot next year than I was last year.”
Bushman, who was projected to be a mid-round pick had he entered the 2019 NFL Draft, did seek the advice of his father-in-law, former BYU and NFL All-Pro tight end Chad Lewis.
“I went to him and we talked about things,” Bushman said. “But he wasn’t necessarily trying to push me to go one way or another. His advice was good, but he wasn’t overbearing or anything, to push me out to the league or anything.”
Bushman has led the Cougars in receiving yards in each of his first three seasons. The only player to do that in four straight years was former wide receiver Cody Hoffman. But Bushman wants to have an even bigger role in the offense this season.
“I feel like I’ve had pretty similar seasons the past three years,” said Bushman, who has 125 career catches for 1,719 yards and nine touchdowns. “So, I’d like to be able to make a jump and help our team score more touchdowns in the red zone. That was an issue last year. The biggest things I’m working on is getting stronger and more flexible so I can be better while blocking. Another big focus has been working against man-to-man coverage.”
It was difficult to develop chemistry with three different quarterbacks last season as Zach Wilson, Jaren Hall and Baylor Romney all started games because of injuries. But Bushman said that chemistry is improving during the workouts they are having now.
“We kind of know what that’s like having so many quarterbacks last year,” Bushman said. “Just being able to prepare for it a little better in the off-season. You just can’t really make it an excuse. They’re all looking healthy, they’re all throwing pretty well and I’m excited to see who takes over.”
BYU is scheduled to kick off the 2020 season September 3rd against Utah.