Class Impact: Brandon Cunningham exits

Class Impact: Brandon Cunningham exits

Stefan Adams
Ocean Springs (MS) OT Brandon Cunningham flipped his commitment from Miami to Mississippi State on Friday night.


The 6-5, 270-pounder is currently a 3-star in the national rankings. According to the 247Composite, Cunningham is the #392 player nationally, #39 OT in the country, and the #15 player in Mississippi. His decommitment, along with other shakeups in the team rankings lately, moves Surge19 down from the #2 class to the #6 class in the nation on both 247Sports and Rivals.


The Background

This is now the third decommitment from the class in three weeks along with Diamante Howard and Brieon Fuller’s departures from Surge19. Clearly, Miami is reevaluating their early commitments and cooling on some of those takes a bit.

Unfortunately, this has been brewing for a while. The situation with Cunningham was a little different than it was with Howard or Fuller, though; the issue wasn’t solely his talent and I think Cunningham would still be a part of the class if his grades were right. Academics were the real problem, he has even admitted as much in past interviews. Sources at UM said he was in such bad shape, he was going to have a lot of work to do to get admitted and was likely bound for prep school or JUCO if he stayed with Miami. As both sides became aware of this reality, the interest began fading between the parties, culminating in a bad visit to campus two weekends ago. We were told the day before his announcement that Cunningham was not engaging at all on his recent Miami visit and was even skipping activities. It was clear his heart just wasn't into UM anymore.

Like with the other departures, these types of parting ways are always for the best for both sides. For better or for worse, Cunningham will have an easier time getting into Mississippi State, who is known for having much less stringent academic requirements, and he will be able to stay close to home. And Miami can put more focus onto guys that will actually be able to become eligible and contribute to the team.


Future of the Class

Cunningham's decommitment brings the total class numbers down to 10, leaving the Canes with one offensive lineman committed. Atlantic Coast (FL) 3-star Kingsley Eguakun is already on the commit list and we were told he was Miami’s first and only target at the center position. And yes, UM still loves him. He’s as solid as can be and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

The departure does leave Miami empty-handed and in a bind at offensive tackle, though. OT is the position on the team that is struggling the most right now, the issue being the Canes have way too many guard-types and not a lot of true tackle-based substances on the O-Line. Coach Stacy Searels has been upfront about the struggles to find reliability at the position, saying last week that he usually has 2 tackles he can trust at this point in the year; right now, he only has one.

Where does this leave Surge19? Well, IMG Academy (FL) OT Evan Neal continues to be the top target on the line for Miami; despite a great visit to FSU this weekend, Miami still feels confident there. The Canes will also shoot their shot on Huntington (WV) OT Darnell Wright. Until he gets on campus, it’s hard to tell just how much of a player Miami is with Wright, but keep in mind coach Hartley used to coach at Marshall and has tons of West Virginia-area recruiting connections.

Slightly further down the board, Belleview (FL) OT Michael Tarquin has an abundance of UM interest and there has been a flurry of crystal ball predictions coming in for the Canes lately. There’s a good chance he is Miami’s next commit on the line. Plant (FL) OT Will Putnam is a name that keeps being thrown around, but we’re getting mixed feedback on the amount of interest from both sides right now.

In terms of new offers that could go out, Miami Northwestern (FL) OT Mark Fox and Doral Academy (FL) OT Wardrick Wilson were both invited recruits at the spring game on Saturday and both have legit interest in Miami. Fox in particular has long been waiting on a UM offer. The two are currently committed to SEC schools, Fox to South Carolina and Wilson to UF; if the Canes pull the trigger on either, things will get really interesting, and UM would certainly be in prime position to make the flip.
 

Comments (21)

With the loss of Cunningham we lost an unrefined tackle prospect with high upside. He has the combination of athleticism that you want from a high-end tackle. He fits the tackle mold that we seem to have been failing to get under CMR so far. Because of that, I'm disappointed to see him go. With that said, he also seems to be pretty immature and have grade (and potentially character?) issues. That eases the blow because those things can definitely stop a guy with great talent from panning out.

It's imperative we get some quality tackle prospects in this class. Evan Neal is a fantastic prospect and is a MUST GET. I need to see more to know if he's a LT prospect or not, though. Right now I'm seeing a great RT prospect.

Darnell Wright is the prototype and a future 1st round pick at LT, but that's undoubtedly a long shot.
 
@Stefan Adams I believe you meant to put Cunningham not Howard in this sentence at the top of the article : According to the 247Composite, Howard is the #392 player nationally, #39 OT in the country, and the #15 player in Mississippi.

Good looks on the write up though.
 
I wish I was as comfortable as some of you are. Our great need last year was DB. By this time we had four with Blades a lock to come later. All but one was a four star. We also looked good for a couple of more and I was wondering where are we going to put all of thes guys. This year we need both sides of the line and we can't seem to get off of the dime. Furthermore one of our two DT commits is shakey. You never know what's going on behind the scenes but right now the optics are unimpressive.
 
OT needs to be fixed ASAP. IMO we should offer Wilson and Fox

Ideal Class -

Evan Neal - OT
Kingsley Eguakun - OC
Michael Tarquin - OG/OT
Wardrick Wilson - OT
Mark Fox - OG/OT

Then you shoot your shot at Wright from WV
 
Wardrick Wilson.....Not even sure why he doesnt have an offer yet. Out of the same camp of Denzel Daxon, and has a crazy build. Has looked good at camps all off season as well.
Tarquin is an interior prospect imo. Thats the issue i have seen with Searles. He legitimately hasnt brought in real tackle prospects. I dont know if its a certain prerequisite he has size wise, but alot of his "tackle" prospects i knew from their recruitment that their feet werent there to be consistent out wide. Even Big Donaldson who they might kick out there...i believe is a better guard prospect but he is just that much better than the other guys they have brought in. The grad transfer coming in, could help solidify stuff though as he may be able to afford us to kick one of out guards out to RT.
 
Ocean Springs (MS) OT Brandon Cunningham flipped his commitment from Miami to Mississippi State on Friday night.


The 6-5, 270-pounder is currently a 3-star in the national rankings. According to the 247Composite, Cunningham is the #392 player nationally, #39 OT in the country, and the #15 player in Mississippi. His decommitment, along with other shakeups in the team rankings lately, moves Surge19 down from the #2 class to the #6 class in the nation on both 247Sports and Rivals.


The Background

This is now the third decommitment from the class in three weeks along with Diamante Howard and Brieon Fuller’s departures from Surge19. Clearly, Miami is reevaluating their early commitments and cooling on some of those takes a bit.

Unfortunately, this has been brewing for a while. The situation with Cunningham was a little different than it was with Howard or Fuller, though; the issue wasn’t solely his talent and I think Cunningham would still be a part of the class if his grades were right. Academics were the real problem, he has even admitted as much in past interviews. Sources at UM said he was in such bad shape, he was going have a lot of work to do to get admitted and was likely bound for prep school or JUCO if he stayed with Miami. As both sides became aware of this reality, the interest began fading between the parties, culminating in a bad visit to campus two weekends ago. We were told the day before his announcement that Cunningham was not engaging at all on his recent Miami visit and was even skipping activities. It was clear his heart just wasn't into UM anymore.

Like with the other departures, these types of parting ways are always for the best for both sides. For better or for worse, Cunningham will have an easier time getting into Mississippi State, who is known for having much less stringent academic requirements, and he will be able to stay close to home. And Miami can put more focus onto guys that will actually be able to become eligible and contribute to the team.


Future of the Class

Cunningham's decommitment brings the total class numbers down to 10, leaving the Canes with one offensive lineman committed. Atlantic Coast (FL) 3-star Kingsley Eguakun is already on the commit list and we were told he was Miami’s first and only target at the center position. And yes, UM still loves him. He’s as solid as can be and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

The departure does leave Miami empty-handed and in a bind at offensive tackle, though. OT is the position on the team that is struggling the most right now, the issue being the Canes have way too many guard-types and not a lot of true tackle-based substances on the O-Line. Coach Stacy Searels has been upfront about the struggles to find reliability at the position, saying last week that he usually has 2 tackles he can trust at this point in the year; right now, he only has one.

Where does this leave Surge19? Well, IMG Academy (FL) OT Evan Neal continues to be the top target on the line for Miami; despite a great visit to FSU this weekend, Miami still feels confident there. The Canes will also shoot their shot on Huntington (WV) OT Darnell Wright. Until he gets on campus, it’s hard to tell just how much of a player Miami is with Wright, but keep in mind coach Hartley used to coach at Marshall and has tons of West Virginia-area recruiting connections.

Slightly further down the board, Belleview (FL) OT Michael Tarquin has an abundance of UM interest and there has been a flurry of crystal ball predictions coming in for the Canes lately. There’s a good chance he is Miami’s next commit on the line. Plant (FL) OT Will Putnam is a name that keeps being thrown around, but we’re getting mixed feedback on the amount of interest from both sides right now.

In terms of new offers that could go out, Miami Northwestern (FL) OT Mark Fox and Doral Academy (FL) OT Wardrick Wilson were both invited recruits at the spring game on Saturday and both have legit interest in Miami. Fox in particular has long been waiting on a UM offer. The two are currently committed to SEC schools, Fox to South Carolina and Wilson to UF; if the Canes pull the trigger on either, things will get really interesting, and UM would certainly be in prime position to make the flip.
of the two, which is more likely to get an offer? Would both of them get offered/both be takes? Hell if Putnam isn't looking like an option, give me both these guys along with Neal, Eguakun and Tarquin
 
OT needs to be fixed ASAP. IMO we should offer Wilson and Fox

Ideal Class -

Evan Neal - OT
Kingsley Eguakun - OC
Michael Tarquin - OG/OT
Wardrick Wilson - OT
Mark Fox - OG/OT

Then you shoot your shot at Wright from WV
I'd be more than happy with that OL class and then completely agree, you go all out for Wright. Adding him to the guys you have above might make it the best OL class in the nation.
 
I like our current OL targets. But we need to keep scouting Florida for prospects emerging. Unless we can somehow lock up Darnell Wright we need to be on the look out for a true LT prospect to go all in for.

OL prospects often emerge late. We need to get this year’s version of Jalen Goss
 
I like our current OL targets. But we need to keep scouting Florida for prospects emerging. Unless we can somehow lock up Darnell Wright we need to be on the look out for a true LT prospect to go all in for.

OL prospects often emerge late. We need to get this year’s version of Jalen Goss

We need to be in Ga and Texas looking for OT prospects. Also i dont know if Neal is a true Ot prospect
 
We need to be in Ga and Texas looking for OT prospects. Also i dont know if Neal is a true Ot prospect

I love Neal’s potential. And every time new tape comes out for him he seems to be moving better and better.

But, I agree. I’m not ready to say he can play LT. I’m buying into him as a RT though.

Let’s scour any state we need. Real LT prospects need to be a priority
 
Unfortunate about Cunningham. Best of luck to him.

Now we need to finish up the OL class. Plenty of good ones in state, but we should be looking everywhere.
 
of the two, which is more likely to get an offer? Would both of them get offered/both be takes? Hell if Putnam isn't looking like an option, give me both these guys along with Neal, Eguakun and Tarquin

I've only seen Wilson in person of the two, but he is legit. His size stands out immediately and he was very impressive at the Rivals camp. And I like Fox's tape as well but Wilson would be my choice if it came down to one or the other.
 
We need to be in Ga and Texas looking for OT prospects. Also i dont know if Neal is a true Ot prospect

As tall as he is, he better be! Neal is taller than any interior lineman in the NFL. I think he can play RT, but if he has to play OG he might take a few throws to the back of the head, lol.
 
Does anyone have tape of Wardrick Wilson? He def passes the eye test but I can't seem to find season/game highlights of him
 

2021 Commits

S
6'5"
220
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DT
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255
Miami, FL
OG
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295
Miami, FL
DT
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290
Miami, FL
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210
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WR
6'2"
180
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
225
Hollywood, FL
TE
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210
Frisco, TX
STR
6'3"
190
Melbourne, FL
S
5'11"
200
Miami, FL

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