Jacob Busic kept the Westminster football coaching staff plenty busy during his recent college recruitment process.
Busic, a two-time Times first team all-countian, received at least 17 offers from collegiate programs across the country and settled on a list of three he chose from to make his final decision — Navy, Army, and Villanova.
It was a stressful process, Busic said, but he ultimately settled on Navy.
“It’s something not many people get to experience to see different coaches and different colleges from different places and what they all have to offer,” said Busic, who stand 6-foot-4 and weighs 250 pounds. “It’s a really cool experience. What sold Navy is, I actually went down there just to see it and my brother-in-law is in the Marines and he wanted me to go see it.
“I fell in love with the place, there’s so much history down there and they offer so much, I just couldn’t pass it up.”
Busic said he reports to the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, Rhode Island, on July 22. According to the NAPS website, the 10-month course of instruction at the prep school lasts from August to May with a mission to enhance midshipman candidates’ moral, mental and physical foundations to prepare them for success at the Naval Academy.
Following his prep school completion, Busic heads to Annapolis next June. Adjusting to living so far away from home for a year will be hard, he said, but he is looking forward to seeing his hard work pay dividends.
“This is something that many kids don’t get a chance to do and that was one of the big decisions for me, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I’m looking forward to,” Busic said. “I’m a little bit of everything, I’m nervous, I’m excited and at the end of the day I’m doing what no one else gets to experience so it’s all for a good reason.”
Busic was pulled up from junior varsity as a sophomore and quickly started to make an impact for the Owls. As a junior, he compiled 49 tackles and led the team with seven sacks as a defensive lineman. He helped lead the Owls to a Carroll County Athletic League championship and an appearance in the Class 3A West final as well.
Busic saw similar results last fall when he totaled 66 tackles and 10 sacks, also a team high, and contributed to Westminster’s return trip to the regional championship game.
Matt Study, who spent the last four seasons as Owls coach and stepped down after the 2018 campaign, said there was one particular play of Busic’s that was so impressive that they moved it to the front of his senior’s highlight tape.
Study said Busic moved to offense leading up to the team’s CCAL matchup against Liberty on Oct. 12. The Lions hauled in an interception, and Busic came across the field to chase down Liberty’s defensive back when other players had already stopped running and blocking.
Busic tackled the Liberty player before he could score.
“It shows a lot of his drive and character, it shows so many things of what football can give you and executing that one single play,” Study said. “I hope our players see that play and understand that is where it’s at right here, this play, not the sack. He’s had so many sacks and tackles, but he was playing offense where he wasn’t necessarily the best at but he refused to let somebody win and that alone says so much about him.”
Study said Navy provides everything Busic was looking for in the decision-making process. Football has a shelf life, Study said, and it’s a conversation he and Busic have had a number of times. Athletics is one piece of the puzzle, but where would he receive the best education?
Navy seemed the best fit for that mold.
“For me, I’m very fortunate to have a coaching staff as strong as Westminster’s,” Busic said. “When I go to the Naval Academy, it isn’t going to be easy. There’s going to be a lot of coaches yelling at me, but I’m very thankful here because I’ve had my defensive coordinator yell at me plenty of times. I’m very fortunate to have a coaching staff that cares as much as they do and kicks me when I need to be kicked so when I go to the Naval Academy, it’s something that’s going to transfer over.”