RECRUITING: UF academics impress Cunningham

Jermaine Cunningham, a 6-4, 210 lb DE from Stone Mountain (GA), was hoping to attend the big battle in The Swamp Saturday night between the Gators and Seminoles after taking in the Iron Bowl so he could compare the two. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to attend because his team had a play-off game which they subsequently lost.

(Jermaine Cunningham profile)

Now that his high school football season is over, Cunningham can focus on the colleges recruiting him. So far, Florida, Auburn, Tennessee and Virginia Tech are the four schools leading the pack.

Cunningham likes the University of Florida and has developed a connection with the University and coaches. RB Coach Stan Drayton has been recruiting the big defensive end for the Gators, but he isn't the only coach that has been in touch with him.

"Coach Drayton calls and so does Gregg Mattison. Mattison calls twice a week," said Cunningham. "Coach Meyer sends me a text message twice a week. He sends different notes telling me about the Gator games, and wishes me luck in my upcoming games."

According to Cunningham, he has developed a great relationship with Coach Meyer. "He's a great coach that's trying to change Florida's football program. There is not much about the game of football that he does not know," he said.

The Gator coaches send information to Cunningham to keep him informed about all aspects of The University of Florida. He is interested in studying business and loves the Warrington School of Business.

"The University of Florida is a great university -- one of the top schools in the nation," said Cunningham. "Their business program is the best compared to other schools across the nation."

After a great weekend of giving thanks, Cunningham shared a lot of what he is thankful for:

"I'm thankful for being healthy throughout this season," he offered. "I am thankful for my teammates, coaches and the way we play together. I am also thankful for the chance we had in the playoffs."

With the recent commitment of strong side defensive end Lawrence Marsh, the Gators are looking for a speed rush end for the opposite side of the defensive line. Jermaine Cunningham fits the bill for what the Gators are looking for.

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