Noles Offer NJ Ath

The Noles coaching staff has started their trip across the country to evaluate the top football talent. Coach John Lilly was so impressed with a New Jersey Athlete that he offered right on the spot.

College coaches are at airports and rental car counters across the nation right now as the spring evaluation period gets in full swing. Reputations through film clips, word of mouth and recruiting services over the last several months are being firmed up as recruiters hop from high school to high school these next few weeks for evaluations. Many coaches make it a point to stop by Bergen Catholic High School each year at this time, to see what preps that New Jersey powerhouse has served up for the rising senior ranks.

The premiere Bergen talent for this 2005 class is one of the elite linebackers in the nation, Brian Cushing. The 6'3" 223-pound defensive standout had 17 offers to his name before he arrived at the Oradell, NJ school today. He came home with 19.

"West Virginia came to school today and offered me and [Bergen teammate Jim] Dray," Cushing tells of the day's events. "After school Florida State came and asked to speak to me. They said, 'We never offer kids this quickly but by far you've had the best film we've seen this year.'"

That glowing praise from FSU tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator John Lilly lit up the recruit, when the words were passed on by the Bergen head coach. Cushing immediately proclaims that he has a new leaderboard to take into account the Seminoles' offer and interest.

"They love how I play and say I'd fit in great down there at safety or outside linebacker," the elite linebacker explains. "This is awesome. It means a lot. They are definitely in my top five."

Cushing goes on to give a new leaders list. His top five are FSU, Stanford, BC, Ohio State and USC. The Buckeyes and Trojans have yet to offer. His top eight is rounded out with Miami(FL), Virginia and Virgnia Tech. The Hurricanes are the only school of that trio yet to offer.

The top New Jersey student-athlete has his head spinning from the recruiting attention, but he is also trying to remain focused on academic matters in front of him. Foremost on his mind is the SAT, which he will take for the first time this Saturday. Cushing scored a 1240 on the PSAT this past fall.

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