Draft Scout Snapshot:DS Rating on 8/24/08: #2 OLB, #20/750 Overall, Projected Rnd: 1-2 2008: Consensus All-Pac 10 Conference first-team choice...Finalist for the Butkus Award, semi-finalist for the Lombardi Award and quarter-finalist for the Lott Trophy...Named the team's Co-Lifter of the Year...Limited in spring drills after undergoing arthroscopic ankle surgery...Suffered a broken bone in his hand vs. Oregon State and was forced to play wearing a cast for about one month...Also suffered a shoulder contusion vs. Arizona State, but still managed to start all thirteen games on the Trojans' schedule...Ranked second on the team with 73 tackles (46 solos)... Added three sacks for minus 22 yards and led the squad with 10.5 stops for losses totaling 50 yards...Also had a QB pressure, along with a forced fumble...Deflected six passes and recorded his first career interception...On 54 running plays he was involved in, Cushing held the opposition to 119 yards, no touchdowns and eight first downs (2.2 ypc), as he made six third-down stops, two more on fourth-down plays and took down ball carriers for no gain on four other runs...On 30 pass plays into his area, the opposition completed 19 passes (63.33%) for 132 yards (6.95 yards per completion/4.40 yards per pass attempt) and one touchdown, allowing four first-down receptions...Made six of his tackles inside the red zone, including four on goal line plays...Added one more tackle for the kickoff coverage unit...2007: 10 GP; 8 GS; 14 Sol-25 TT, 2.5 TFL, 1 SK, 2 PBU, 1 FR; 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. 2006: 13 GP; 13 GS; 27 Sol-57 TT, 13.5 TFL, 4.5 SK, 1 PBU, 1 QBH, 1 FF, 1 BLK; 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.
Post-Draft Outlook:BEST PICK: The Texans like OLB Brian Cushing because he was a four-year starter at Southern California who became a team leader and plays with the kind of intensity and energy they want on defense. He'll play on the strong side. He's tough against the run but fast enough to learn to cover. A closer look at the Texans' picks: Round 1/15 -- Brian Cushing, OLB, 6-3, 243, Southern Cal...The Texans liked the USC linebackers -- Cushing and Clay Matthews -- and when the 15th pick arrived, both were still available. Cushing was the target of defensive coordinator Frank Bush since the college season ended. Bush says Cushing will compete with Zac Diles for the starting job on the strong side. He has the versatility to line up even on the edge and rush. The Texans love his athleticism and work ethic, and he is expected to make an instant impact. - by The Sports Xchange
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Draft Scout Brian Cushing News
10/24/12 - ILB Brian Cushing, who was leading the team in tackles when he suffered a torn ACL in the victory over the Jets, undergoes surgery Thursday. Dr. James Andrews will perform the operation. When Cushing is able to travel, he will do his rehabilitation at the Texans' facility.
10/10/12 - ILB Brian Cushing (knee) was placed on injured reserve after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee. He's been replaced in the lineup by Tim Dobbins.
10/09/12 - ILB Brian Cushing is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
He was injured on a cut block by Jets OG Matt Slauson in the second quarter Monday. There was no penalty on the play, and the block is legal. Cushing was the Texans' leading tackler this season.
10/01/12 - ILB Brian Cushing isn't getting the publicity that defensive end J.J. Watt is getting, but it's still Cushing's defense. He's a defensive captain. He plays with an intensity that helps motivate his teammates. He leads the Texans with 38 tackles, including 24 unassisted. Cushing has yet to register a sack after getting four last season and tying his career high.
09/20/12 - ILB Brian Cushing led the team in tackles last season and is leading this season. Going back to the start of last season, the Texans have allowed 275.7 yards a game, second to Pittsburgh. During that period, the defense leads the league in completion percentage (51.8) and passer rating (67.7).