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Brian CushingBrian Cushing - Texans Outside Linebacker

Brian Cushing was born on January 24, 1987 in Park Ridge, New Jersey. He plays for the Houston Texans as an outside linebacker.

High School:
Brian attended Bergen Catholic School in Oradell, New Jersey. He played football as an outside linebacker, running back and tight end. In 2003, Cushing had 120 tackles, 9 sacks, and 7 interceptions. His honors this year were: Student Sports Junior All-American, All-State first team and All-Bergen County Defensive Player of the Year. He graduated in 2004 with the following awards: Parade All-American, Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star Top 100 Dream Team, Rivals 100, Super Prep All-Northeast Defensive Player of the Year, Prep Star All-East and All-State Defensive Player of the Year. During his senior year he registered 120 tackles, 10 sacks, and 7 interceptions on offense. Cushing rushed 475 yards with 10 touchdowns. He was on the injury list for three games with a sprained ankle.

College Career:
Cushing received offers from many colleges, but chose University of Southern California. As a freshman, Brian was out almost half the season with a shoulder injury, but came back to start the last 4 games. After his appearance in eight games, he made 23 tackles, two fumble recoveries and a blocked punt that he returned for six yards. After this season he had surgery to repair his dislocated shoulder. He also made 2005 Freshman All-American honorable mention. In 2006, Cushing started all games. He made 57 tackles, a forced fumble, a blocked kick resulting in a 21 yard return, and a 42-yard onside kick return. He earned Rose Bowl Defensive MVP, All-Bowl Team and All-Bowl Team. As a junior in 2007, Cushing played a strongside linebacker. He played in ten games and started in eight. He had 25 tackles, a fumble recovery, and two detections. Brian sprained his ankle twice this season and was out for a few games. He was named 2007 All-Pac-10 honorable mention this season. For most of spring season practice Cushing had a strained hamstring and sat out. He also had surgery on his left knee after the 2007 spring practice. As a senior, Cushing was recovering from his arthroscopic surgery and was limited to his spring drills.

Professional Career:
Brian Cushing was drafted by the Houston Texans in 2009 as the 15th overall pick. As a rookie, he had 133 tackles, four sacks, four interceptions and two forced fumbles. Brian played in all 16 regular games and was also voted to play in the Pro Bowl as a starter. With an outstanding rookie season, Cushing earned the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. In May 2010, ESPN announced that Brian Cushing had taken performance-enhancing substances and would not play for the first four regular games. He appealed and lost. As a result, the Texans defense is going to suffer with the first four games against the Colts, Redskins, Cowboys and Raiders. Cushing will be allowed to practice with the team and his suspension starts at the beginning of the 2010 regular season.