I’m sure you’ve all seen the homoerotic poster done each year by the USC football team called Gladiators of the Coliseum. If you haven’t (or would like a refresher), take a gander — the annual photo features the entire football team, oiled up, flexing, and ready to put the wood to you… in whatever way you like it. The O-line aside, you really can’t find a bad body in the bunch. So after being sent the following pictures, I’m wondering what in God’s name happened to sophomore USC linebacker, Brian Cushing.
I remember Brian Cushing well. I saw him play early in his high school career, and while he wasn’t remarkable physically, he was pretty good. A couple years later, he’d developed into a jacked beast – an absolute animal. So when the recruiters came calling, he was the must-have linebacker; the future anchor of a defense that would punish anything and anyone who got in his way. At 18 years old, he was already 6’4″ 235 and a member of every high school all-star team you can think of — 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, etc etc etc.
Meet Brian Cushing circa summer 2004.
And meet Brian Cushing now…
It’s hard to believe it’s the same guy. Before leaving for USC, Brian Cushing was participating in Strongman training and a year later, his breasts are overdue for a milking. How does a body like this go to pot so quickly?
At first I thought – well, hey, the college life. A lot of guys arrive with nice bodies. They were high school athletes with fast metabolisms and they were lookin good. But then they settle in and get addicted to Half Life, Madden, power hours, and keg races. After 8 months of pizza, late nights at Denny’s, and copious amounts of alcohol, they’ve drank on 20 pounds and a pair of fleshy B cups. That’s to be expected. But this kid isn’t an ordinary college freshman. He’s an intercollegiate athlete. How can the same happen to a specimen like this in the four months between the regular season’s end and spring practice?
I know Cushing had a surgery for a dislocated shoulder, which puts a serious damper on lifting and burning calories. But this level of breast, stomach, and breast flesh? I can’t help but wonder what’s going on at USC. Is their S&C program so incompetent that they couldn’t manage to keep a guy with a dislocated shoulder from turning into Bluto Blutarsky? Or was Cushing up to something a bit more dodgy in those recruiting years and months subsequent to and is now failing to handle cycling down properly?
I don’t know what’s happening here – maybe it’s a fluke. Maybe it’s a bad picture angle. Maybe he’s wearing really unflattering clothes. Who knows? But whatever’s up, I think it’s fair to say that something might be wrong here. I hope the kid gets himself together. His potential is ridiculous and it’d be a shame for that to be thrown away.