Cushing: No Offer, But Michigan Still on Top

Linebacker <b>Brian Cushing</b> from Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell, N.J. came out of a weekend in Michigan with a scholarship offer, but it wasn't the one he was hoping for. Even so, the Wolverines remain one of his top two. Tuesday night GoBlueWolverine Magazine spoke with Cushing and his father to see what's next for the Crusader star.

Bad weather in Chicago kept linebacker Brian Cushing (6-3, 225 pounds) from Bergen Catholic in Oradell, New Jersey and his father on the plane in Detroit for four hours after visiting Michigan for their Junior Day. "It happens," Frank Cushing, Brian's father said. "We didn't get home until 2:15-2:30 in the morning, so Brian's been sleeping all day."

The younger Cushing didn't get what he was hoping for from the trip. "I didn't get an offer when I was there," Cushing said. "And to tell you the truth I really don't know why, they didn't say other than Coach Herrmann wanted to see my tape from the State Championship game. He said he wanted to see that film because he thought we just beat up on the other teams (in the tape the coaches had). They're still my number one school and I'll be back there for the camp in June and prove myself again."

Bergen Catholic played Don Bosco Prep in the Championship game with Bosco eking out a 14-13 win. Cushing, who played with an injured knee and was uncertain to play right up until game-time, had 19 tackles and forced Don Bosco star Brian Toal to fumble twice in the game. The second fumble was late in the game and gave the Crusaders a chance for the win, but the offense sputtered and Don Bosco came away with the victory.

Bergen Catholic Head Coach Fred Stengal calls Cushing, "The best player I've ever coached." High praise from a coach who's seen some of the best players in the state come through his locker room.

Cushing was disappointed in not receiving an offer from the Wolverines, but he was happy to come out of Michigan with at least one offer. "We went up to Michigan State before we went to Ann Arbor," Cushing said. "It was nice, the campus is nice and they are a top program. My coach told me yesterday that they are sending me a written offer. I'll consider them like I'll consider the other teams I'm looking at. They really like me and said they know I'm the top player in New Jersey. But my top teams are still Stanford and Michigan."

It was Cushing's first trip to the Michigan campus. "I met the coaches and did everything I wanted to do," he said. "We went to the game then at halftime we went to the locker room, had pizza, and the coaches talked to us. After the game we went to Schembechler Hall, then we talked to the academic support people. On Monday I went back and was one-on-one with the coaches. I talked a lot to Coach Herrmann, Coach Debord, and Coach Carr. Coach Carr is a great guy and Coach Herrmann seems like a real intense defensive guy, which I like."

The elder Cushing described Coach Carr, whom he met for the first time during the visit, as, "A real father figure. I really enjoyed talking with him. We had about a half hour to talk with him and it was nice. He's so much interested in the kids and interested in our family and really talked up the academics, which was great."

Coach Stengal told GBW earlier that Cushing could play safety if he maintains his weight. Cushing's father said that while it's a possibility, his son is still growing. "When he got x-rayed for his knee after he was hurt, the doctor said his growth pallets were wide open and he would grow another one to three inches, so I can't see him playing safety. He told the Michigan coaches that he likes to be close to the ball and loves to hit. Syracuse actually talked to him about playing safety, but they're the only one that has so far."

Cushing has been working with a private coach, and recently talked some smack with former Wolverine, and current New York Giant Dhani Jones. "Dhani's been working out with him the last couple weeks," Frank Cushing said. "Dhani's spoken at Bergen Catholic but never saw Brian play, so Brian asked Dhani if he wanted to go one-on-one, everyone laughed but he was serious."

Cushing doesn't have any other visits planned until April 18, when he will trip to Virginia. He said he'll also take unofficial visits to Ohio State, Penn State, and Miami after visiting the Cavaliers. He now reportes offers from Michigan State, Stanford, Boston College, Rutgers and Syracuse.

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