"It's a dream come true."

Akeem Cunningham, 5-11, 185 pound, defensive back from East Orange – East Orange High School (NJ) committed to the Commodores today. Cunningham will be a part of the class of 2008 signing class. He spoke about his commitment and the long recruiting process that lead him to Nashville.

Akeem Cunningham reported of his commitment, "It feels good. It's a dream come true. I've always dreamed about playing in the SEC. I just want to thank the Vanderbilt coaches because they took a chance on me."

An unusually late edition to a recruiting class Cunningham explained how his recruiting process was held up. He explained, "What happened was I played football and basketball. We won the state championship in football, so every Saturday it was kind hard for me to take my SAT's. In basketball we went to the state championship and we ended losing by four points. Right after basketball season I took my SAT and that was after signing day."

Cunningham added, "There were a lot of schools contacting me and trying to offer me scholarships but I did not take my SAT. I finally took my SAT and ended up at Vanderbilt, and it's a great place to be."

He listed those schools that carried their interest after signing day as, "Texas A&M, Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas State, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, North Carolina, North Carolina State, and Boston College." Many of the schools went after him heavily and offered him after signing day, but it would Vanderbilt who would prevail.

He explained what put Vanderbilt over the top by saying, "Great academics, besides football it's a great academic program." He added, "There is nothing like a degree from Vanderbilt plus it's the best conference in football if you want to showcase your talent."

In the end Cunningham felt a strong relationship with the coaches as well, especially their honesty. He commented on the Vanderbilt staff, "They are all upfront and really honest. They care about you. The times I was down there I had a good time, it was great."

The Commodores staff definitely made Cunningham comfortable. He went on to explain, "They were totally honest with me whether it was a negative or a positive and I respect that because you usually don't get that when you go on a visit they usually just feed you what you need to come in." He also said, "They were honest with me and let me know it was my decision and that I needed to come down there and I appreciate that."

Cunningham commented about his future position with Vanderbilt by saying, "When I get up there I can play anything. I wish I would play corner, but you never know."

As far as his impressions of the downtown Nashville campus Cunningham was impressed. He reported, "It's a beautiful campus. This just this feeling walking around there everyone is friendly and it's just a great environment to be in and just leaves you with a good feeling."

Cunningham is an all around athlete. As a junior at East Orange High School he played quarterback, running back, wide receiver, cornerback and safety. He threw for 600 yards and eight touchdowns to only two interceptions ran for 212 yards and four touchdowns and added 175 yards and another two scores as a receiver.

"My strength on the field is I am going to bring a lot of football smarts to the field. I read well and I'm a playmaker in crucial situations I'm going to step up. I like being the one you can count on in crucial situations. I like making plays." commented Cunningham of his on the field strengths.

As far as his plans to prepare for preseason practice this summer in Nashville he said, "I just want to work on my covering skills and I just want to bring that lock down mentality to the secondary."

Cunningham was very excited about his decision and the Vanderbilt coaching staff's offer. He added that he wanted the fans to know his wait on the SAT and offer "was worthwhile". Look for promising things out of the newest Commodore.

Talk about this player on our Vanderbilt football message board: CLICK HERE

Commodores Daily Top Stories