Top Target: Brian Cushing

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Although Bergen Catholic (Oradell, NJ) star Brian Cushing figured he would receive some attention from Division I-A colleges, he certainly didn’t expect this. The 6-3, 230 pound prospect is one of the top prospects in the country and recently was ranked as a five-star prospect and the number 26 player on the Rivals Top 100 list.

“It’s exciting to be a top prospect,” Cushing said. “At the same time though, it can be confusing. Every day there is something new to think about. It’s a good problem to have though. I never thought I would receive this much attention.”

As a junior, Cushing used his 4.5 40 speed and his versatility to hurt opposing teams from all over the field, and on both sides of the ball. On defense he can play linebacker or safety, racking-up 120 tackles with ten sacks and seven interceptions last season. On offense he can line up at running back or wide receiver. Basically, wherever he is needed, he will contribute.

By playing as many positions as he does, he says it is tough picking out one favorite position.

“That’s a tough question to answer,” Cushing said when asked what his favorite position is. “Last year my coach really moved me around. If he needed me to blitz, I would blitz. If he needed me at running back, I would play running back. I would move wherever they needed me. So I don’t really have a preference. Growing up I saw myself on the defensive side of the ball, but I’ve been coming on strong on offense over the past few years.”

Cushing estimates about 75 percent of the schools recruiting him want him to play linebacker, while the rest like him as a wide receiver or safety. He has earned an amazing 48 Division I-A scholarship offers. This summer, he is making as many unofficial visits as possible to help narrow his list. Comfort level on campus is one of the major factors for him, so the unofficial visits are very important.

“Narrowing my list down will be based off of my official and unofficial visits really,” Cushing said. “The number one thing for me is where I feel the most comfortable. There is a lot of other stuff to add up also. Academics are important. Football tradition is another thing.”

The star prospect has visited Michigan, Michigan State, Maryland, Rutgers, Penn State, and Virginia so far this year. He attended UVa’s Junior day on June 12th and seemed to really enjoy his time. The Cavaliers are recruiting Cushing as an inside linebacker.