Game Day Q&A with quarterback AJ Bush Jr.: 'Everything started clicking'

Game Day Q&A with quarterback AJ Bush Jr.: 'Everything started clicking'

He piled up 329 yards throwing and running in the Illinois opener. Not bad for a guy making his first FBS start. AJ Bush Jr.'s long road ultimately led him to Illinois, where he is the 2018 starter. Based on his debut against Kent State, he will keep the job. Football beat writer Bob Asmussen sat down with Bush this week:

You were in on a lot of plays against the Golden Flashes. Are you still tired?

I'm recovered. We had a good lift to get the lactic acid out. I was little sore after the game.

How well did you sleep Saturday night?

I slept like a baby.

Do you sleep well the night before a game?

I can sleep, but I'm also a tosser and turner. I'll wake up thinking about what kind of play we're going to run versus a defense.

When was the last time you carried the ball 21 times in a game?

Probably high school. It was a workload. I was ready for it. I was prepared for it.

What part of your body was the most sore?

My whole body. Shoulders. I got a little scrape right here on my arm. I don't know how it happened. A lot of scrapes you don't feel until you get in the shower.

You had more than 300 yards of offense. Give yourself a grade for the first game?

Honestly, I give myself a C+. I'm very hard on myself. There were too many plays that were left out on the field that could have made my debut way better.

The fans were a little rough. What did their reaction at halftime mean to you?

You're talking about the booing? That's just fans for you. They don't have any control over what goes on between the lines. They're going to show their emotions some kind of way. Quite frankly, it doesn't faze me. I didn't know why they were booing at the time. I thought they were booing the other team. It really didn't matter to me.

How are you feeling about the decision to come to Illinois?

It worked out great. I have a lot of family in East St. Louis. Everything started clicking. I started looking at the coach and the players coming back, just everything. It was on the rise.

After the win, did you hear from any of your old teammates or coaches?

Oh yeah. My Twitter was all filled with them. My social media was basically all my old friends and family.

Who is your favorite athlete?

I love Cam Newton. He's from Atlanta (Bush's hometown).

What does AJ stand for?

Alvin Jr.

Who calls you Alvin?

No one. My parents call me AJ all the time. It's not like one of those things where my mom gets mad at me and is like "Alvin."

President Obama came to town Friday. What do you think?

That's legendary.

What would be the one question you'd want to ask him?

There's so many questions. Seeing him is honestly like seeing Abraham Lincoln. I like historic things. If I could see Abraham Lincoln and talk to him, I would.

Are you a political guy?

Not really. I see what's going on and I can feel a certain way. We don't really talk about politics.

If you have free time, what are you doing?

Game week is different. If I have free time, I'm probably looking at football again. But if it's not game week, I'm just probably chillin'. If I have work to do, I'll do it. If not, I'll be playing Madden.

After football is over, what do you want to be?

Hopefully, I'm just doing something that helps people get better and being a good person in my community. I like communications, so I'll do something in that field, marketing, something like that. My degree is in sociology.

Tell me something people don't know about you.

I'm kind of basic. I love music. I listen to a lot of people. I listen to very different (music). I can listen to rap, I can listen to pop, old school, Motown. If you've got a country song you like, put me on it, I might listen to it. I'm very diverse.

Tell me something people don't know about one of your teammates.

Reggie Corbin can never wear his shorts all the way down because his thighs are so big. Every time you see him in shorts, they are always rolled up. He has ham hocks. He knows.