- Erik McKinney, ESPN Staff Writer
FULLERTON, Calif. -- Zach Cunningham (Pinson, Ala./Pinson Valley) didn’t receive the early recruiting attention that some of his peers did. Thanks to a terrific senior season, however, the 6-foot-4, 195-pound outside linebacker will experience all of the pros and cons of a heated recruiting battle as signing day, Feb. 6, approaches.
Cunningham said he didn’t start getting offers until Week 9 of his senior year, but he now holds double-digit offers and has narrowed things down to a final four of Auburn, Oregon, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
“I don’t really have much time to choose between the schools,” Cunningham said. “I’m really trying to wind down the number of colleges I’m picking between.”
Cunningham is one of those late bloomers who pops up on the radar late in every recruiting cycle. He believes the late start could have come from coaches simply receiving his film well into the season.
“They all tell me they love my film as soon as they see it,” Cunningham said.
Though he would like to take visits to all of his finalists, the time constraints might not make that possible. He has official visits scheduled to Auburn on Jan. 11 and to Oregon on Jan. 18.
“Vanderbilt wants me to come on the 18th, but I’m already going to Oregon then and I really want to see Oregon,” he said.
He will get plenty of help from his parents and coaches throughout this final month of the process, and he would like to give himself all the time leading up to signing day to reach a decision and make a commitment.