RECRUITING: Brian Cushing - In The Zone

Brian Cushing (6-3, 227, 4.5, 5 Star, Scout.com's #6 LB) from Oradell Bergen Catholic (Pa.) still has USC as his number one choice over Miami, Florida, Louisville and Notre Dame. All have offered.

"USC has been my favorite for a while and not much has changed," said Cushing. "It's really appealing to me that they play so many freshman. It's just unbelievable how great they are and how well they are doing. I can't wait for the national championship game."

Cushing visits the Trojans on January 16 and Miami on January 21. "The fact that Miami has only lost three games and yet people consider that a disappointing season just tells you the kind of expectations they have there. They don't tolerate mediocrity and I'm sure will be back on top again soon."

His final visit will be to Florida on January 28. "I think Coach Urban Meyer will do great at Florida. He's a great guy. He flew to visit me in person and I was really impressed with him. He's a winner. Everywhere he goes he wins. He told me that Florida needs linebackers."

He already took a visit to Louisville on December 17. "The players and coaches are very team oriented. They do everything together and it seems like they really like each other. We got to go to the Louisville/Kentucky basketball game and that was just unbelievable. They also seem to be recruiting me the hardest. I talk to almost all the coaches every time they call and they seem to have the most personal interest in me."

Cushing does not plan to take an official visit to Notre Dame. "I've been there unofficially and have seen what I needed to see. I was real disappointed when I hear that Coach Tyrone Willingham was fired. The linebackers Coach Bob Simmons was supposed to come to my house for dinner the day that happened and he called and told me about it.

"But Charlie Weis Seems like a good guy. I talked with him on the phone a bunch and he's an alumni and and NFL coach, so I really believe he'll get it done.

"The players and coaches and how well I get along with them is gonna be real important. I like aggressive and intense coaches. I like practicing and working hard and I want to make sure that I continue to get better in college." Cushing plans to make his announcement during a televised press conference at the ESPN Zone on Signing Day. 3.4/1010 SAT


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