Then, finally, at about 1:25 p.m., Hurricanes safety Deon Bush got chosen 124th overall – the 26th pick in the fourth round – by the Chicago Bears.
All Bush wanted was an opportunity to show what he can do. Finally, the Miami Columbus High graduate has that chance.
I had a pleasant phone conversation with Deon this afternoon, and is he ever psyched.
"Chicago is a wonderful city with wonderful fans and a wonderful history,'' he told the Miami Herald. "I'm ready. I've been in Miami all my life. Now It's time to go to a new place. Everything is anew. Everything is beginning right now. I just want to make the best of it."
Bush told me he was nervous today because he "didn't know what was going to happen,'' but ultimately, as usual, he did a lot of praying and kept the faith.
He had been staying at a hotel the past few days, saw a navy blue T-shirt that the Bears gave him at the NFL Scouting Combine, slipped it on and went to his home where his family was waiting to watch the draft. "I just had a feeling about the Bears,'' he said. "I prayed and that's how it worked out. I talked on the phone to the GM, the defensive backs coach and the defensive coordinator, and it's a blessing, man. I'm so happy."
Bush also heard from former Hurricanes coach Al Golden, who is the current Detroit Lions tight ends coach, and former UM DB coach Paul Williams, now with Illinois.
Coach Golden told me how happy he was for me and how he was fired up,'' Bush said.
"At the end of the day I had faith in God that everything was going to happen the way it was supposed to,'' he said. "I think I can help this team a lot. I'm going to work hard. I'm going to try to perfect my craft and become a better player. I'm going in there with a mindset that I'll keep my head down, keep chopping away and do whatever it takes to get to the Super Bowl.''
“Major blessings @deonbushlive2 congrats bro,’’ former Canes receiver Allen Hurns, who went undrafted in 2014 but became a star with the Jacksonville Jaguars, tweeted.
And on and on.
The 6-0, 199-pound Bush had 50 tackles, a sack, two fumble recoveries, six pass breakups and an interception last season.
“You look at his talent,’’ ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said after Bush was drafted. “It’s really evident on tape. He has size, athleticism. He's got the skillset to develop into an interchangeable starting safety if he's able to regain focus and if Chicago can bring out the most in him."
The Bears tweeted that among the things Bush said during a Saturday afternoon teleconference was, "I definitely want to embrace special teams. I played special teams my whole career.''
When the Miami Herald asked Bush on Friday what the team that drafted him would be getting, he said, “They’re going to get a hard worker man, someone who is going to go out there and lay it on the line, play hard football, make plays and amp people up and make the defense tougher.
“I bring a tough style.’’
Bush said playing in the NFL -- no matter where he plays -- would be “a dream come true.’’
“It doesn’t matter,’’ he said. “I love the game of football. I’ll go anywhere and be happy.’’
Bush will join former Hurricane stars Antrel Rolle, a fellow safety from Homestead (out of South Dade High) and punter Pat O’Donnell in Chicago.
"Deon Bush is a Chicago Bear!! U Family!!" tweeted new UM coach Mark Richt.
And this, from O'Donnell: "Yes, Sir!!! Welcome to the squad @deonbushlive2. Expecting many of these plays like @#TheU #BearDown #NFLU. The tweet showed a picture of Bush sacking former Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Yes Sir!!! Welcome to the squad @deonbushlive2 Expecting many of these plays like @ #TheU #BearDown #NFLU pic.twitter.com/Hb2SCG3dWM
The first two Hurricanes drafted, both of whom grew up in Miami, are going to the cold. But be assured that at this point, Artie Burns (Pittsburgh) and Bush couldn't be more ecstatic.
You're gonna want to see these... #BearsDraft@deonbushlive2 📷's: https://t.co/7ZOTxL8jBk pic.twitter.com/qUQFmWaSzW