Bussey to Hawaii

North Texas wide receiver Rico Bussey Jr. (8) scores a touchdown during the Mean Green’s game against Louisiana Tech at Apogee Stadium during the 2018 season. Bussey is headed to Hawaii as a graduate transfer.

Former North Texas wide receiver Rico Bussey Jr. is headed to Hawaii for a second shot at his senior season.

Bussey announced his decision Saturday on his Twitter account.

The Oklahoma native finished with five catches for 150 yards and a touchdown in three games with the Mean Green last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury in a loss to Cal.

Bussey later left the program and entered the NCAA transfer portal. His 21 career touchdown catches put him in a tie for fourth in program history with Johnny Quinn, while his 1,941 receiving yards ranks ninth.

Quinn is a member of the North Texas Athletics Hall of Fame.

Losing Bussey was a key blow for UNT last season, when the Mean Green posted a 4-8 record. He was a preseason All-Conference USA selection after finishing eighth nationally with 12 touchdown receptions on his way to posting 1,017 receiving yards in 2018.

Bussey caught four passes for 156 yards in a win over Abilene Christian in UNT’s season-opener last fall before being held without a catch in a loss to SMU the following week.

Bussey’s season came to an end in the third week of the year when he caught a swing pass at Cal. He took a hit to the knee and was on crutches after the game.

That catch marked Bussey’s final appearance with the Mean Green. He spent four years at UNT and did not redshirt. The three games he played last fall are under the NCAA limit for a redshirt season.

Bussey will be able to apply his redshirt to the 2019 campaign and play as a graduate transfer as a senior this fall.

Bussey will look to prove he is healthy and back in form after joining a Hawaii team that finished 10-5 and knocked off BYU in the Hawaii Bowl last season. The Rainbow Warriors are entering their first season under Todd Graham.

Graham took over as Hawaii’s coach after Nick Rolovich left after the 2019 campaign to become the coach at Washington State.

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.

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