The Louisville Cardinals pulled out all the stops in an effort to impress Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic linebacker Brian Cushing by having both Michael Bush and Brian Brohm host him on his official visit this weekend. Did it work?
"I had a good time, probably better than I even expected," said the 6-foot-4, 230-pounder. "Coach Petrino is laid back overall, but he's really intense when it comes to football. He's a great guy."
Cushing was on his first official visit.
"It was really cool, obviously," he said. "You always expect your first official to be good. Both Michael and Brian were good hosts and we had a very good time. The coaches want me to play WIL linebacker and if I came in and picked things up, I'd start right away. But they weren't going to promise anything, which I respect."
Cushing liked the area as well.
"It wasn't as country as I thought it would be," he said. "There was some stuff to do."
One incident at the Louisville visit impressed Cushing about coach Petrino.
"They sent James McKinney home because coach Petrino didn't like his attitude," Cushing said. "He was really talking a lot about how much they wanted him and how important he was and coach Petrino told all of us he didn't want a player like that in his program. He wants team guys. To send a Top 100 guy like that away, it was surprising."
The visit to Louisville keeps them in the hunt for the four-star linebacker, along with Southern Cal, Florida, Miami, Boston College and Virginia.
"I set my Florida visit for Jan. 23-25," he said. "That's a mid-week visit. I probably have to move BC now, because that was Jan. 25-27. Miami is still Jan. 21 and USC is Jan. 16. Now I have to decide if I want to visit Virginia or not on Jan. 28 or replace them with Boston College."
The recent coaching rumors surrounding Virginia have been resolved now that Al Golden is staying. Does that help UVA?
"I don't know, I like the coaches, but my interest has faded a little bit," he said. "Part of it was the play on the field, the other part was the coaching thing. I don't know yet, we'll see."
Is USC still his leader?
"Yep, I really like them," he said. "It's a great program and I can't wait for that visit. I leave right from the U.S. Army Game. I want to take all five trips though."