Ian-Yates Cunningham - OL - 6-4, 296, 5.0-/40 - Lewisville, Texas (Hebron) - Talk to Ian on the phone and you are thinking to yourself , what a calm, soothing voice this young man has. Truly serene, truly peaceful and I bet you there isn't a mean bone in his body. Ok, line up against him on the defensive side of the ball and you might come away with an entirely different impression, other than that one of you that Cunningham just left in the field. Yeah, he sounds nice, but even Cunningham will admit that once he's on the field, things change.
Without going into some major theatrics about a Jekyl & Hyde syndrome, you could separate the people that are Ian-Yates on the field and Ian-Yates off. It's not a dilema in personality, but a trait that Cunningham finds favorable as that intensity he carries is certainly welcome in one aspect, but would scare small children to death in the other. It's one of those sides that helps Cunningham achieve what he has to this day. "As an offensive lineman, I see myself as a finesse type of player, but I also have a mean streak" Cunningham stated. "If I need to put someone in the ground, I will put them in the ground. To get the touchdown or tackle, I will sacrifice my body to get that done." With Cunningham's on-the-field disposition, you can't imagine that his body would be the one being sacrificed and Ian went on about this attitude he has when playing. "I have a nasty streak, I think" Ian said. "I can get very, very physical, but on the field, you have to or you will just get pushed around. It's cut-throat time."
Attitude aside, there are a lot of players with nasty sides to them that don't get over 25 offers in writing. Cunningham isn't one of those. He has that , plus. Ian has the grades, Ian has the skills and Ian has the size and that equates to all the biggies coming to dinner, so to speak. Teams like Notre Dame, Florida, Nebraska, Georgia Tech, Virginia, Texas A&M and Michigan just to name a few, all courting Cunningham, because whatever it is they do, this young man fits it to a tee.
Ian does have a number of schools in mind as to where he is looking right now and those teams stated above are those that Cunningham listed as most prominent on his list. And, we know what schools see in him, but what's Cunningham looking for in schools? As we have done with a few recruits, I gave Ian the 1-10 scale in judging certain criteria about his ideal school of the future.
Fans: "Probably around a 7. I would love to have a lot of fans. I'm at a new school, so we don't get many fans, so fans would be great. I would love to play in front of a lot of people."
Tradition of winning: "Probably around a 7 or 8. There are some schools like Virginia for instance, they have great tradition for academics and athletics, but they haven't been as successful as before, but I feel like they are going to bring it back."
Coaches: "That's a 10."
Relationships with players: "10".
Location: "As long as it's not in Alaska, it really doesn't matter, so maybe a 2 or 3."
Things to do: "I've been a suburb guy, but I have been in the city also. I like places like Georgia Tech that are in the city. When I think of places that might not have a lot to do, I would think of , like Montana or someplace like that."
Well, without going much further, we have managed to narrow Ian's list down even more than he might have even thought possible. Alaska and Montana seem to be out of the running. :-) Ok, yeah, that leaves a few schools left, so without assuming anymore, we harken back to the aforementioned list and dates. Dates of when Ian might take his officials and where to. "I think I will take my officials after the season" Ian stated. "That's what I am looking at right now."
It would appear that Ian's size is enough to give a school two players even when they think they are getting just one. One of those players will be everything you want off the field and the other one will be every the opponent hates to see on. Just a well-rounded kid.