"I'd say USC leads slightly because they bring lots to the table with winning," says Cushing, from Oradell Bergen Catholic. "They have unbelievable recruiting classes and a great defense that really knows how to attack the ball. They really know how to just shut down an offense. I want to be a player for this program that's going to go for the win every time.
"Miami is another team with a great defense. I've always loved them since I was a kid. They've got great LBs there and had the opportunity of having six 1st round draft picks. I've developed a great relationship with coach (Vernon) Hargreaves (LBs) too. They were also national champs two years ago.
"Virginia has started off real well this year on both sides of the ball. Coach (Mike) Groh (QBs) is really great. And I can honestly say that they've got the best LBs in the country this year.
"Notre Dame is doing really well too. They've got a good defense and I think that coach (Tyrone) Willingham can get the job done. They have a strong program and an unbelievable winning tradition. They're also not too far away and it would be nice to stay a little close to home.
"Louisville is another team that people thought I never would have considered. They really get the job done in the Big East. They're also not too far from home and they're picking up on what they're doing as a program--and are also recruiting me real hard.
Cushing will officially visit Miami (Dec 10), USC (Dec 17), Virginia, Notre Dame and Louisville. He will not take any visits during the season.
Two games (0-2) stats: injured first game (sprained ankle)/ game two--24 tackles/ 1 sack. "I'm getting a lot better and I think I should be 100% for this weekend."