Cunningham, you may recall, took a leave of absence from the ‘Dores in the middle of last season, stretching a receiving corps which was already horribly thin past its breaking point.
Though his departure had been expected the hole Cunningham leaves is still an issue for Vanderbilt. Cunningham was the number one player in James Franklin’s final recruiting class and though he has not developed anything like as quickly as Commodore fans would have hoped, there was still the thought that when the potential became realized he would be the go to target that Vanderbilt just does not seem to have on its roster.
As it is Cunningham exits with just 19 receptions for 150 yards to show for his two seasons in Nashville. Obviously it is hard to blame all of this on Cunningham as his first year the option was “thrown to Jordan Matthews unless there are four guys covering him” and last year the quarterback play was just putrid. It is hard to know exactly what has driven the desire to transfer, but you have to think that a more competitive season last fall may have caused a second thought or two.
Cunningham will not be able to play for Cincinnati this fall barring a successful appeal as he appeared in two games for Vanderbilt in 2014. Due to the archaic transfer rules written up by the NCAA this constituted having played a season and Cunningham will have to sit out a year. Hopefully common sense prevails here and Cunningham is able to play straight away given how little time he spent in black on gold last fall.
This really is an interesting transfer on both ends. It will be worth watching if Cunningham, when more comfortable in his surroundings, can turn into the type of receiver which drew such praise in high school. By the same token it really is a case of next man up for Vanderbilt, who just MUST get some production from a receiving unit which looks low on talent if they are to win games this fall.
Jordan Cunningham to Cincinnati
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