Our series of blogs about local Arizona football prospects continues. These local Arizona high school prospects in the class of 2014 are who Head Coach Todd Graham and recruiting coordinator Chip Long would love to see in the maroon and gold.
If “protecting the quarterback” was the number one theme of the 2013 NFL Draft, then “getting after the quarterback” was the second major theme. In 2012, Sun Devil nation saw an attacking defense that created havoc in opposing backfields, and Sun Devil fans are expecting more of the same during the 2013 season. With Will Sutton and Chris Young seniors, and Carl Bradford a junior, defensive coaches are looking for future stars who can get after the quarterback.
#6 Qualen Cunningham, DE, Chandler Hamilton
Qualen Cunningham, a 6’3” 230 lbs high school defensive end out of Chandler Hamilton, can get after the quarterback. Cunningham has elite athleticism for a defensive end, and his junior defensive highlights show Cunningham on opposing offensive linemen before they are out of their stance. That quick first step has Sun Devil fans envisioning Cunningham as the future star Devilbacker.
The Qualen Cunningham list of accolades includes the following:
- Scout.com 4 star, #18 overall position ranking
- Rivals.com 4 star, #5 overall DE, #86 prospect in nation
- Rivals Camp Phoenix – Defensive Line MVP
- Rivals 100 Five-Star Challenge Participant
- ESPN.com 4 star, #19 overall positional ranking
- 247sports.com 4 star
- Fansided 150’s #103 overall ranked prospect
Currently, Cunningham has reported offers from Arizona State, Arizona, USC, UCLA, Washington, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Michigan State, and several other major colleges. However, Cunningham’s first two offers were from Arizona State and Texas A&M, and it could come down to just those two programs. The Sun Devils have an uphill battle to keep the local star Cunningham in state as Cunningham is considered Aggie legacy since his father Rick played at A&M.
Defensive coordinator Paul Randolph would love to add this dynamic defensive weapon in 2014 as Cunningham could step up to replace Carl Bradford as the next version of an attacking Devilbacker.
List of Class of 2014 Local Prospects:
#1 Kyle Allen, QB, Scottsdale Desert Mountain – Committed to Texas A&M on 6/3/13
#2 Casey Tucker, OT, Chandler Hamilton
#3 Jalen Brown, WR, Mountain Pointe
#4 Natrell Curtis, OG/DT, Mountain Pointe
#5 Mark Andrews, WR, Scottsdale Desert Mountain