2008: Cushing, a strongside linebacker who could be in line for All-American and Butkus Award honors, will start for his third season as a senior in 2008. He had arthroscopic surgery on his ankle prior to 2008 spring practice and was limited in spring drills. He was named to the 2008 Playboy Pre-Season All-American team. He is on the "Watch List" for the 2008 Bronko Nagurski Award and Lott Trophy.
2007: Cushing, who did a standout job starting at defensive end in 2006, moved back to his natural strongside linebacker spot as a junior in 2007 and didn't miss a beat. Overall while appearing in 10 games (all but Washington, Stanford and Arizona) and starting 8 times (Idaho and USC's last 7 games), he had 25 tackles, including 2.5 for losses of 4 yards (with a 2-yard sack), plus a fumble recovery and 2 deflections. He sprained his left ankle in the Idaho opener, then played briefly but didn't start the next 2 games (Nebraska and Washington State) before re-spraining it against Washington State and being sidelined for the next 3 contests.
He had 1 tackle against Washington State, then returned from his injury and notched 2 tackles at Notre Dame. He had 8 tackles at Oregon, 5 stops (with a sack) against Oregon State, 4 tackles (1.5 for a loss) and a deflection at California, 2 tackles at Arizona State and 2 more stops against UCLA. He had 1 tackle, 1 fumble recovery (to set up a USC TD) and 1 deflection against Illinois. He was named 2007 All-Pac-10 honorable mention. He sat out most of 2007 spring practice with a strained hamstring. He had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee following 2007spring practice.
2006: Cushing, who started 4 times in 2005 at strongside linebacker, started all of his 2006 sophomore season as a stand-up defensive end in USC's hybrid 3-4 "Elephant" defense. Overall in 2006 while appearing in all 13 games, he had 57 tackles, including a team-best 13.5 for losses of 52 yards (with 4.5 sacks for minus 33 yards), plus a deflection, a forced fumble, a blocked punt that he returned 21 yards (at Washington to set up a USC field goal) and a 42-yard scoring kickoff return of an onside kick (against Notre Dame). He made the 2006 Collegefootballnews.com Sophomore All-American third team, All-Pac-10 second team and Scout.com All-Pac-10 second team. He won USC's John McKay Award (most competitive spirit). He missed some of 2006 spring drills while recuperating from shoulder surgery.
Four of his 7 tackles against Michigan were for losses (with 2.5 sacks) and he forced a fumble to help him earn Rose Bowl Defensive MVP, ESPN.com All-Bowl Team and CBSSportsline.com All-Bowl Team honors. He also had 7 tackles (1.5 for a loss) at Washington State, 6 tackles (0.5 for a loss) against California, 5 tackles against Arkansas (1 for a loss), Nebraska (0.5 for a loss), Washington (1.5 for a loss) and Stanford (1 for a loss), 4 tackles against Arizona (with a sack), Arizona State (0.5 for a loss) and Oregon (with a deflection), 2 tackles at Oregon State and UCLA (both for losses, with a sack) and 1 tackle against Notre Dame.
2005: Cushing made quite an impact in 2005 as a first-year freshman linebacker, despite missing nearly half the season with a shoulder injury. He started USC's last 4 games (versus California, Fresno State, UCLA and Texas) on the strong side after previously serving as an often-used backup there and a key special teams player. Overall in 2005 while appearing in 8 games (he missed the Arkansas, Oregon, Arizona State, Arizona and Notre Dame games after dislocating his shoulder before the Arkansas contest), he made 23 tackles, including 0.5 for a loss, plus had 3 deflections, 2 fumble recoveries and a blocked punt that he returned 6 yards. He made 2005 Scout.com Freshman All-American honorable mention. After the season, he had surgery to repair a dislocating shoulder.
As a starter, he led USC with 7 tackles at California, then added 4 stops, a deflection and a fumble recovery to set up a USC field goal against Fresno State, had 2 tackles, a fumble recovery and a deflection versus UCLA and had 1 tackle and 1 deflection against Texas. As a backup, he had 5 tackles against Stanford, 2 tackles and blocked a punt to set up a USC field goal at Washington, 1 tackle and forced a fumble that USC recovered for a touchdown at Hawaii and 1 stop versus Washington State.
HIGH SCHOOL: Among his 2004 honors were Parade All-American, USA Today All-USA first team, Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star Top 100 Dream Team, Student Sports Top 100, Rivals 100, Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, Tom Lemming All-American, Scout.com All-American first team, EA Sports All-American second team, Super Prep All-Northeast Defensive Player of the Year, Prep Star All-East and All-State Defensive Player of the Year as a senior linebacker, running back and tight end at Bergen Catholic High in Oradell (N.J.). He had 120 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and 7 interceptions on offense in 2004, plus 475 rushing yards with 10 TDs and 13 receptions for 456 yards (35.1 avg.) with 7 TDs and a kickoff return for a score. He did all that despite missing 3 games with an ankle sprain.
>As a junior in 2003, he made Student Sports Junior All-American, All-State first team and All-Bergen County Defensive Player of the Year while posting 120 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, 9 sacks and 7 interceptions.
PERSONAL: He's a sociology major at USC.
##Includes 2 blocked punts
#Includes 1 blocked punt