NEW YORK (AP) – Reggie Bush is on the clock.

The Heisman Trophy winner has a little more than a month to decide whether he’ll enter the NFL draft or become the second straight junior from Southern California to pass up a chance to be the No. 1 pick and go back to school.

But it’s not as if Bush can spend the holiday season weighing the pros and cons, pondering the biggest decision of his young life. There’s still a national championship game for which Bush must prepare.

For now, he’s putting his future on hold.

“I won’t think about it until after this Rose Bowl game,” he said Saturday after becoming the third USC player to win the Heisman in the last four years. “We’ve got our work cut out for us with Texas.”

Bush and Trojans quarterback Matt Leinart, last year’s Heisman winner, play Texas for the national title on Jan. 4, marking another historic moment for the USC dynasty. Never before have Heisman Trophy winners played together in a college game.

The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL draft is Jan. 15.

Bush did allow for a moment of speculation at his post-victory news conference at a Manhattan restaurant.

“I love the whole East Coast atmosphere,” Bush said. “I can definitely see myself playing here, playing for the New York Jets.”

The Jets are among the hapless teams, including Houston, San Francisco and Green Bay, in danger of finishing with the worst record in the NFL and the first pick in the draft.

Leinart said he wasn’t ready to give up college life after winning the Heisman in 2004. But he also knew he was coming back to play with Bush in an offense that might be unmatched in the history of college football.

Even without Leinart, USC would have been tough to beat this season. With him, the Trojans have run their winning streak to 34 games and can become the first team to win three straight national championships by beating Texas.

Bush thanked Leinart on Saturday saying, “Your decision to come back has changed my life.”

If Bush returns to USC, he’ll make life a whole lot easier for highly touted quarterback John David Booty, Leinart’s likely successor.

The pipeline of talent running into USC these days is unsurpassed, but replacing Bush and Leinart in the same year would be daunting.

If Bush does come back, he’ll be the third straight Heisman winner to play another year of college football and a huge favorite to repeat.

Oklahoma quarterback Jason White, whose NFL prospects were suspect at best, got a sixth year of eligibility after winning the Heisman in 2003. White finished third in the Heisman voting last year behind Leinart and fell short in his bid to become the second two-time Heisman winner, along with Archie Griffin.

Leinart finished third behind Bush and Texas quarterback Vince Young.

Bush’s victory was one of the most lopsided in Heisman history. Only O.J. Simpson, another star tailback from USC, received more first-place votes (855) than Bush’s 784.

Young, also a junior, has said he intends to return for his senior season, but his NFL stock has been on the rise, too.

He and Bush could both be back in New York next year for the Heisman presentation.

In losing the Heisman, Young said he felt he had let down his team, family and hometown of Houston. And he promised to take that feeling into the Rose Bowl.

“This will give me a little more edge, a little more ego,” Young said.

AP-ES-12-11-05 1557EST

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