UM Closely Watching NJ LB

When it comes to winning football games in New Jersey, few can match the success of Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell. Every year they produce wins on Friday nights and Division 1 players on signing day.

They might have the best defensive prospect in the state on its team right now. Brian Cushing stands 6-3 and 225 and runs exceptionally well for his size. He plays running back, tight end, wide receiver, wherever his team needs him. However, he'll be a collegiate linebacker. And probably a real good one.

After totaling 120 tackles as a junior, Cushing started getting lots of recognition. Then when the college coaches began reviewing his tape, the offers started pouring in. In fact, 17 have poured in as of Sunday night.

"I'm getting new ones all the time," Cushing said. "I've got them from a lot of the schools that I really like too. I guess that means I'm one of the best players in the state, I hope. There are some good ones so that's good."

Cushing, who is hitting .462 with one home run in nine baseball games this season, said his ability to get to the ball quickly separates him from the rest of the pack.

"I have speed," he said. "I go all out. I get there."

Indeed he does. Now college coaches are lining up May visits to his school.

"I'm interested in a bunch of them right now," he said. "I really want to find out more about USC. I'm real interested in schools like Stanford, BC, Ohio State, Miami, and Virginia Tech."

Speaking of Miami, Cushing just spoke to the UM coaches the other day.

"I was talking to them in my coach's office," he said. "They talked about how they like me and how they're coming by the school next month. They haven't offered yet but I think they are getting close."

If the Canes were to offer, Cushing will likely show plenty of interest.

"I've always been interested in Miami," he said. "Ever since I watched them dominate Nebraska for the title a few years ago then return to play Ohio State the next year, I've liked them. They play a fast paced defense and it's one that I think I could fit into pretty well."

Cushing plans on attending camp at BC and perhaps Ohio State.

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