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JOHN Busack was the starting middle linebacker on a Columbus East squad that went 13-1 in 2012, and yet he wasn’t happy.
“I had an alright year,” Busack said. “I wasn’t making all the plays that we would have liked.”
Busack said he was “playing timid.”
Anyone who has watched Busack play for the Olympians probably wouldn’t be able to understand that kind of self-evaluation, and yet East’s coaching staff knew what he meant.
“I was thinking too much,” he said. “When I think too much, it makes me slower. And when I watched tape, I wasn’t happy.”
Going into this season, Busack was switched to outside linebacker. The development of sophomore Sam Dwenger, who took over at the middle, made the move possible.
“The outside was fun,” Busack said. “I was playing faster.”
Unfortunately, though, Busack felt he just wasn’t making enough plays. East defensive coordinator Eddie Vogel agreed.
“After the Jennings County game, he asked me if I wanted to play safety,” Busack said.
So with only five regular-season games remaining in his career, Busack switched to strong safety. He made his debut two games ago against Floyd Central and was picking up things on the fly.
Then, in his second start on Friday against Madison, he had two tackles for loss in Madison’s first three offensive plays and three for the game. He was named East’s defensive player of the game.
“I was flying around,” he said. “I can see the whole offense at safety.”
Although strong safety has even more pass coverage responsibilities, Busack said he feels more comfortable. He remains a little nervous as East (7-0) churns toward the postseason because he hasn’t faced a lot of top-notch wide receivers yet. Jeffersonville, which sports a balanced offense, should provide more of a test when it hosts East on Friday.
“I know the coverage stuff will come to me,” he said. “But you’re never done learning in this game.”
East coach Bob Gaddis is glad that Busack doesn’t mind learning or switching to a new position.
“He’s probably made more plays since we moved him,” Gaddis said. “He can run the whole field.
“He is a kid who understands football and now he gets a chance to be a leader even more. I think we were lacking some leadership in our defensive backfield.”
At 6-foot, 210 pounds, Busack now is playing a position that he might be playing in college if someone gives him a chance. Whether he tries to walk-on on a large university or gets an offer from a small school remains to be seen.
He is thinking about a career in law enforcement and therefore is considering Ball State with only academics in mind.
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