Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic linebacker Brian Cushing was expecting visitors on Tuesday night at his home -- visitors from Notre Dame. He was stunned and disappointed to find out that no one would be showing up.
"Coach Simmons was supposed to come to the house Tuesday night and he called and said he couldn't make it," said the 6-foot-4, 225-pounder. "He told me what happened and I was shocked. I honestly never thought Notre Dame would do something like this. Coach Willingham and the entire staff were great and were one of the big reasons I had them first or second in my head.
"Now I don't really know what happens. I guess I just wait and see. I'm pretty upset, but business is business I guess. I know Notre Dame was up and down sometimes, but I don't think he was given long enough. I'm disappointed."
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For now the No. 4 outside linebacker in the country has to focus on the teams he likes with coaches.
"I still have Louisville on Dec. 17 set up and I scheduled Virginia for Jan. 21," he said. "Coach Golden and D'Onofrio swung by to speak to my parents Tuesday. I still need to set up Miami and USC and then figure out what happens after that. If a new staff comes in at Notre Dame that I'm interested in, I guess I visit them again (Cushing took an unofficial visit this season) and then take an unofficial to Boston College.
"If I don't feel good about the changes at Notre Dame, then I'll take an official to Boston College or Maryland. Maryland has always been hanging around because Isaiah (Isaiah Williams) is going there and he's my best friend."
So if Notre Dame was in his top two privately, who is No. 1 now?
"USC is my clear leader now," he said. "It was Notre Dame and USC at the top, but USC is first now. Distance isn't a factor really, although I want to go out there and see how far away it really is."
Cushing has Boston College coming to his house on Wednesday and Miami on Sunday. He will lead his team against Don Bosco Prep this Friday in the state championship game.
"This is it," he said. "This is my last chance."