Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic linebacker/safety Brian Cushing had a rough month of September. He is just now finally recovered from an injury that kept him out of his team's opener and hobbled through their next two games, his team is off to a 2-2 start (poor for them) and the recruiting calls are getting crazy. However, the four-star linebacker has narrowed things down to a final five.
"Right now it's down to Miami, Southern Cal, Virginia, Notre Dame and Louisville," said the 6-foot-4, 227-pounder. "Those are the five I plan on taking official visits to. I have Miami set for Dec. 10 and USC for Dec. 17 but those might be moved. I haven't really figured out a schedule but all my visits will probably be after our season is over."
That leaves teams like Rutgers, Boston College, Penn State and Maryland out of the mix, right?
"Pretty much," he said. "I know PSU and Rutgers are out, they have just not been getting it done on the field, and BC and Maryland are pretty much out as well. There's a chance I'll take an unofficial visit to BC and Maryland to see a game, but right now they're not in my top five."
All of Cushing's favorite, save for the Irish, are undefeated.
"That's a bit of a factor, they're all good programs," he said. "Miami is the only one now who wants me as a safety, but I'd probably end up at linebacker there anyhow. Miami and USC are both top, top programs, Virginia is on the rise and recruiting Jersey great and Louisville is a great team. They will give Miami trouble on Thursday I think."
And Notre Dame?
"They've been recruiting me very hard," he said. "The Purdue loss was bad and losing to BYU was not good, but Notre Dame is a great academic school and they're always being talked about. I'm taking an unofficial visit there this weekend to see them play Stanford."
Cushing, ranked as the No. 4 outside linebacker in the country, made 19 tackles in his team's second loss of the season (to Don Bosco Prep) and caught three passes this past Friday on offense for more than 100 yards and two scores.
"I'm finally healthy again," he said. "My ankle is finally better and I was able to play like I know I can in our last game."
Decision time won't come soon for the star linebacker.
"I'll wait until the end most likely," he said. "I want to weigh all my options."