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Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Cunningham looks at Oregon, Auburn

By Brandon P. Oliver

After being visited at his school by Oregon defensive backs coach John Neal and Ducks linebackers coach Don Pellum during the past two weeks, fast-rising LB Zach Cunningham (Pinson, Ala./Pinson Valley) met with Pellum again on Wednesday. This time, Cunningham's father was there to meet with his son and the longtime Oregon assistant.

"Coach Pellum came down today to meet with Zach and his father," said Pinson Valley head coach Matt Glover. "It sounds like things went really well. His father was impressed and it sounds like they want him to come out the second week of January."

Auburn has also been in hot pursuit of the 6-foot-4, 200-pound Cunningham. New Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn visited Pinson and extended an offer to the rangy linebacker over the phone.

"Auburn offered Zach today and he's excited about the opportunity to have an offer from another SEC school, especially an in-state school like Auburn," Glover said. "Zach has a lot of good programs to choose from but these two offers made a huge impact on him."

With ATH Danny Mattingly (Spokane, Wash./Mead) visiting Eugene this weekend, there's a race to see who will jump on an offer and fill the last linebacker spot or two the Ducks have at the position.

Cunningham seems to be a perfect fit for the Ducks' athletic defense. His speed off the edge and ability to get to the quarterback or ball-carrier is what caught Oregon's eye more than anything.

"Coach Pellum just talked about how he can envision Zach -- with his size and speed -- flying around on the field and making plays," Glover said. "It seems like a perfect fit for both Zach and Oregon. If he likes his visit out there, the Ducks will be in it until the very end. He really likes their program a lot."