4-Star Linebacker Excited About Auburn Visit

Talented defender Zach Cunningham talks about his upcoming visit to Auburn and what he likes about the Tigers.

Pinson, Ala.—A player who came out of nowhere to rise all the way to a four-star prospect and the number 23 rated outside linebacker prospect in the country, athletic Zach Cunningham has had a whirlwind of a senior season at Pinson Valley High School.

Seeing his scholarship offers take off late in his senior season and finishing off his high school playing days with an appearance in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, Cunningham's ride is not yet complete as he still has to make a decision on his college future.

This weekend he will begin a series of trips to his favorites by visiting the Auburn Tigers and new Coach Gus Malzahn. Teammates with long-time Auburn commitment Earnest Robinson and very familiar with the program, Cunningham says he's looking forward to getting to know more about the new staff on his trip.

"I'm just looking forward to meeting all the coaches on the new staff," Cunningham tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I'm also looking forward to meeting all the recruits and some players as well.

"The only coaches I have met are Coach (Ellis) Johnson, Coach Malzahn and Coach (Scott) Fountain," he adds. "I'm really like them a lot. I feel like this coaching staff is a really good group."

With Auburn moving to a 4-2-5 defense next season featuring three safeties, Cunningham's versatility on defense is something that makes him an intriguing prospect. Capable of playing that position and eventually growing into a linebacker is something he's hearing from the coaches at the moment.

At 6-4, 205 pounds, Cunningham is reminiscent of a young Karlos Dansby on the football field as he plays bigger than his size, but also has the athleticism to chase guys from sideline to sideline. Getting the opportunity to play against top talent at the Semper Fi game in early January, he says it made him realize he's got some work to do in order to be ready for the next level however.

"It was fun getting to talk to all the players," Cunningham points out. "I guess it was kind of like getting used to what the next level is going to be like with all those high caliber recruits. It showed me that I need to hit the weight room."

Planning to take all of his visits before making a decision, Cunningham said he'll trip to Oregon next weekend and then Vanderbilt the week after that. He notes there is also a chance he could visit Miami as well before making up his mind.

In the end this decision could come down to a comfort level for Cunningham and his family, and that may give Auburn a very good chance to keep him in the state. A good student at Pinson Valley, the talented defender says that he knows what Auburn is all about and that's a good thing heading into his visit.

"When I went down there I really liked the family atmosphere and how nice they were when we were down there," Cunningham says. "I like the family thing they preach. Playing in state at a big school like that would help a lot as well."


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