Cardinals Gibbons’ George Rushing, Peyton Bender make college choices official


Special to the Miami Herald

Unlike many high school seniors who are not sure where they are headed for college, Cardinal Gibbons wide receiver George Rushing had it all figured out early.

He was going to Louisville to play for coach Charlie Strong.

But when Strong got what he considered a better job offer at the University of Texas, Rushing had to adjust his route – just as he has done numerous times on the field during a productive prep career.

“I found out he was leaving the night before it happened, toward the end of December,” Rushing said.

“I called Coach Strong to try to figure out what was going on. That didn’t work out the way I wanted it to – I was kind of upset. But hey, I found a better fit at Wisconsin.”

Rushing said he didn’t have to scramble for a new university.

“A lot of schools had been hitting me up, trying to get me to flip,” Rushing said. “I was still in contact with some schools.

“When I committed to Louisville, Wisconsin was No. 2 on my list. I like the tradition, I like the things they do there. It’s a football town. The town is built around football and winning and going to the Rose Bowl.”

The quarterback who threw to Rushing for most of his career at Gibbons, Peyton Bender, also wants to win a Rose Bowl. But he will try to satisfy that quest while playing for Washington State.

There was no drama with Bender’s recruitment – he has been locked down by the Cougars for quite some time.

Gibbons runs the identical offense used by Washington State, which should ease Bender’s transition to college.

“I feel satisfied finally being able to sign my scholarship papers,” Bender said when asked about his emotions on the big day. “There’s a lot of gratification going through me right now.”

Bender threw to three Division I receivers this past season. In addition to Rushing, Trevon Lee signed Wednesday with Duke, and Christian Blake faxed in his paperwork to Northern Illinois.

Lee clearly wants to make the best use of Duke’s reputation for academic excellence.

“I’m going to major in pre-med – I’m going to be a doctor,” Lee said. “This [signing day] is a surreal feeling. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.”

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