Rajan Cunningham will arrive at Notre Dame for its marquee summer camp with something extra to prove.
Last spring Cunningham, a three-star running back from Dallas, tore his ACL. Cunningham has been on the mend since but feels the knee injury might have held back his recruitment. Irish Invasion is an opportunity for Cunningham to show he’s worthy of more attention.
“I think it took my recruitment back to a certain extent,” Cunningham said. “But God has gotten me this far.”
Cunningham heads into the visit with scholarship offers from Cal, East Carolina, Iowa, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico, Oregon State, SMU and Toledo.
Texas and Arizona State have expressed interest. So has Notre Dame through offensive coordinator Mike Sanford.
Sanford has made some stops at Bishop Dunne in Dallas for Cunningham and one of his teammates, four-star cornerback Chevin Calloway.
Notre Dame is no stranger to Bishop Dunne, which produced former four-star cornerback Nick Watkins. Cunningham knows Watkins but they didn’t cross paths much at Bishop Dunne, so the running back is looking forward to learning more about Notre Dame in person.
“I’m interested to just see their campus,” Cunningham said. “I’ve done a lot of research about them. I really wanna see the campus. I know it’s a really good school to go to. Coach Sanford has sent me a lot of pictures and told me you don’t have to be a football player to graduate.”
Sanford has also told the 5-foot-9, 180-pound prospect about what to expect after his Irish Invasion workout is complete in terms of potentially landing a scholarship offer.
“They just said they want to see me move around and then they’ll make a decision off that,” Cunningham said.
Right now Cunningham doesn’t have any other camp visits set. He hopes to show improvement not only post-injury but also from his sophomore film.
Coming out of 7-on-7 with his team, Cunningham feels poised to perform well.
“I feel good right now,” he said. “I know I'm not fully back but I feel real good. My strengths, I’d say, is how strong my leg has gotten. My speed has increased.”
Cunningham listed Cal, Iowa and SMU among the programs recruiting him hardest with Arizona State and Texas continuing to show interest. He plans to sort things out before the season begins in hopes of making a commitment.
“Really I’m looking for an offer,” Cunningham said. “I’ll see where my offers get me then go from there.”