Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic linebacker Brian Cushing took an unofficial visit to Rutgers this past Monday and came away very impressed. Was he impressed enough to put them in his top eight?
"I really was impressed with Rutgers, the facilities there are amazing and coach Schiano knows what he's talking about," said the 6-foot-4, 216-pounder. "I also liked the way he compared me to Rod Woodson because I can be as versatile as he was in the NFL if not more. That was flattering comparison."
So was it enough to put Rutgers in the hunt?
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"I would say their in the mix, but I can't think of anyone to drop off my list," he said. "I'll certainly consider Rutgers and will be following them to see how they do this season. They think they can win seven games this season and so do I, so if they do that they'll be in a bowl game."
However, Cushing still has the same eight favorites for now.
"Virginia is still my favorite right now," he said. "I really liked my unofficial visit there, I like coach Groh, they're recruiting me the hardest and they think I can be the next Ahmad Brooks. Plus Eugene Monroe and Mike Brown already committed there."
Just behind Virginia are seven other contenders for Cushing's services.
Boston College -- "BC is close to home, they're joining the ACC, Brian Toal is there and he's a friend of mine and it would be great to play alongside him and my dad really likes BC. That's his favorite school."
Florida State -- "FSU has great football, great tradition, they had a very good recruiting class last year and playing for coach Bowden would be awesome. He's a legend."
Miami -- "Miami has been my favorite team since I was around five years old and they are my brother's favorite team too. He really wants me to go there. Coach Coker came to my school in May which showed me how much they want me and Miami is always producing NFL players."
Ohio State -- "They were national champs a couple years ago, they're not too far away, I really like the Big 10, they have four senior linebackers I think so I could play early and they have a tradition of great linebackers."
Oklahoma -- "I liked coach Venables a lot and he said I remind him of himself at the same age. They don't offer too many players in New Jersey so to get an offer from them is flattering. They're also always in the hunt for the national title and they produce Butkus winners."
Penn State -- "PSU is close to home, I liked my unofficial visit there, they have a legendary coach and it's Linebacker University. It's also a football crazy area and the stadium is huge. Playing in front of that many people would be amazing."
Southern Cal -- "USC wants me as a safety which is really interesting to me. They have a sick program and coach Carroll came to my school in May and he's a nice guy. The Pac 10 is known for passing the ball so playing in coverage there would be a challenge."
Cushing might have a new team in the mix soon as well if he is impressed with his next unofficial visit.
"I'm going to Maryland next week with Isaiah Williams," he said. "He already committed there and he's a good friend of mine so I'm going to check it out. They're recruiting me hard so I'm looking forward to meeting the coaches down there."
Cushing knows of three official visit destinations already.
"I'll go to Virginia, Miami and Southern Cal for sure on officials," he said. "Penn State right now could be the fourth, but I'm not sure yet. A lot depends on this season and how some teams look. I want to find a place where I can make an early impact and win."
As a junior, Cushing made 120 tackles with 10 sacks and seven interceptions. He also played wideout on offense. He has offers from all his favorites.
Cushing is ranked as the No. 2 player in New Jersey and the No. 26 player in the country by Rivals.com.