Thursday, October 2, 2003

Miami finds success in recruiting twins

Busing brothers both starters for 3-1 RedHawks

By Mark Schmetzer
Enquirer contributor

[IMAGE] Twin brothers Ryan (left) and John Busing were a package deal out of high school for Miami, and it has paid off.
(Steven M. Herppich photo)
| ZOOM |
Miami's Shane Montgomery is nothing if not efficient - he managed to recruit two starters out of the same house.

The RedHawks weren't looking for a quarterback when the coaches were recruiting during and after the 2001 football season - that is, until Ryan Hawk decided to transfer.

Suddenly, the RedHawks were a little uncomfortable with their depth at the position, and the coaches were told to keep an eye out for some help.

Montgomery, Miami's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, didn't have to look far. He simply returned to the Alpharetta, Ga., living room of a player he'd already been recruiting, John Busing. There he talked with John's twin brother, Ryan.

The brothers had decided to attend the same school if possible, and Miami was the only program to offer both scholarships.

"Playing together was a huge part of the decision," John said. "Now we're doing that."

"It's easier on our parents," Ryan added.

The decision is paying off for the RedHawks, too, though not exactly as planned.

The 6-foot-3, 222-pound John is starting on defense at outside linebacker this season after playing in 10 games last season as a true freshman. He is fourth on the team with 16 solo tackles and 27 overall stops.

The 6-3, 194-pound Ryan redshirted last season, and while he's No. 3 on the depth chart at quarterback, he has started two games at wide receiver.

He has caught 10 passes for 115 yards, and he's No. 1 on the depth chart at one wide receiver slot going into Saturday's game against Akron at Yager Stadium in Oxfod.

"We knew Ryan was a good athlete," Montgomery said.

Montgomery admits John was his primary focus at first. John was a first-team all-state pick as a senior wide receiver at Chattahoochee High School in Alpharetta, which is just north of Atlanta. He also compiled 255 tackles and 13 interceptions as a cornerback.

"We were holding our breath about him," Montgomery said. "A lot of bigger schools overlooked him. He was a kid I felt like would get a lot bigger and probably end up getting big enough to be an athletic outside linebacker."

"... We weren't offering (a scholarship to) Ryan just to get John," Montgomery added. "We were offering to both of them as individuals."

Ryan was the Cougars' quarterback as a senior after backing up current Clemson starter Charlie Whitehurst as a junior.

"We knew he'd be a developmental type," Montgomery said. "We felt good about his quarterbacking skills. We were excited about getting both of them."

John and Ryan were excited about getting the opportunity to stay together.

They had spent their high school freshman year apart, with Ryan attending a private school in Atlanta.

"We got along a lot better when I came back," Ryan said. "We were a lot closer.

"We have a house with a couple of other guys on the team, and we always hang out with the same group."

Said John: "We take all of the same classes. We do think alike sometimes. A lot of times, we'll finish each others' sentences. In high school, I always knew when he was going to throw me the ball.

"We've always had that kind of connection."

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