CUSHING, TEXANS ADVANCE IN PLAYOFFS
Former USC linebacker Brian Cushing has led the Houston Texans to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. Cushing, during his career as a Trojan from 2005-2008, was an All-American and All-Conference performer. He was also a finalist for the Butkus Award in 2008, given annually to the nation’s top linebacker. Cushing made the All-Conference team three consecutive years.
He was the 15th pick in the 2009 NFL draft and was named NFL Rookie of the Year in 2009. In his short NFL career, he has accumulated 323 total tackles, 9.5 sacks and six interceptions, including four during 2011.
Cushing is the Texans’ leader in tackles for the season with 114, including five for a loss. The Texans will take on the Baltimore Ravens Sunday at 10 a.m. on CBS.
U. OF FLORIDA’S SHAW TRANSFERS TO USC
Florida safety Josh Shaw has officially transferred to USC for the 2012 spring semester, according to USC coach Lane Kiffin.
As a Gator, Shaw appeared in 10 games during the 2011 season as a redshirt freshman and although he only started once, he accumulated 22 tackles.
Shaw took part in the 2009 Parade All-American game and Under Armour All-American game.
He was an All-Golden League MVP honoree as a senior cornerback, quarterback, running back and wide receiver at Palmdale High School.
He accumulated 50 tackles, two fumble recoveries, two blocked field goals and an interception in 2009 on defense. On offense he completed 126 of 236 passes for 2,279 yards with 18 touchdowns, rushing for 921 yards with 14 touchdowns.
USC SENIORS TO PLAY IN ALL-STAR GAMES
Former USC linebacker Chris Galippo, wide receiver Brandon Carswell and tailback Marc Tyler are all set to play in All-Star games.
Galippo and Carswell will be playing in the inaugural AstroTurf NFLPA Collegiate Bowl at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. on Jan. 21. Galippo, who started his third season for the Trojans in 2011, had 47 tackles, 1.5 sacks and one interception. Brandon Carswell caught 18 passes for 153 yards and one touchdown this past season.
Tyler will be playing in the 87th East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., which will also be played on Jan. 21.
Tyler, who has been plagued with injuries throughout most of his career at USC, rushed for 568 yards and scored four touchdowns during the 2011 season.
All three plan to enter the 2012 NFL draft in April.