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Randall Cunningham II

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Randall Cunningham
College USC Trojans
Sport Track and field
Position High jump
Class Sophomore
Major Business Administration
Career 2014–present
Height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight 175.5 lb (80 kg)
Nationality American
Born (1996-01-04) January 4, 1996 (age 20)
Las Vegas, Nevada
High school Bishop Gorman High School
Career highlights
Awards
  • 2013 Gatorade Nevada Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year
Championships
  • 3x NIAA Division I state high jump champion (2011, 2013, 2014)
  • 2x NIAA Division I football champion (2012, 2013)
  • NCAA Outdoor Track All-American
  • U.S. Junior National Champion

Randall Cunningham II, sometimes Randall Cunningham, Jr., (born January 4, 1996) is an American collegiate high jumper for the USC Trojans Men's track & field team who is a freshman during the 2014–15 school year. He was a high jumper and quarterback at Bishop Gorman High School. He is a five-time Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) state champion (three times in track and twice in football). He is a NCAA Outdoor Track All-American, U.S. Junior National Champion and Pan American Junior Athletics Championships Champion.

In track, he set USA Track & Field (USATF) and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) national 15–16-year-old boys high jump records with a heights of 2.16 metres (7 ft 1.0 in) and 7 feet 2 inches (2.18 m), respectively, as a sophomore. As a junior, he posted the highest jump of the year by an American high school student in Spring 2013 with a height of 7 feet 3.25 inches (2.22 m). He was the 2013 Nevada Track & Field Gatorade Athlete of the Year. He won the NIAA state high jump championship as a freshman, as a junior and as a senior.

In football, he led Gorman to its fifth consecutive Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) state championship in 2013 and has declined numerous Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) scholarship offers as well as an offer to play football at Yale University. He is the son of retired National Football League quarterback Randall Cunningham and nephew of retired NFL fullback Sam Cunningham.

During his freshman year at USC, he became an All-American by placing 8th in the year-end National Collegiate Athletic Association outdoor championships. During the subsequent summer he became the U.S. Junior National high jump Champion and won a gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships.

Career[edit]

Football[edit]

Cunningham attended nearby Silverado High School in Las Vegas for his freshman season. His father, who had previously coached his youth teams, was hired as the football team's offensive coordinator and for the track team's staff in December 2009.[1] In August 2011, his father resigned his positions and transferred his son to Bishop Gorman just prior to his sophomore year.[2]

Due to NIAA rules which require a transfer student to wait a year before participating in athletic activities, Randall II was required to sit out his sophomore year in both football and track and field at Bishop Gorman.[3] Then, he backed up four-time state champion starting quarterback Anu Solomon as a junior. That season, he compiled 298 yards and two touchdowns on 21–32 passing with four interceptions and added 42 rushes for 483 yards and seven touchdowns.[4] By his junior year, his 40-yard dash speed was laser-timed at 4.6 seconds.[4] As a senior, he inherited a team that Solomon had led to four consecutive state championships.[4] Despite not starting until his senior season, he entered the year with football scholarship offers from Mississippi State, LSU, Baylor, Syracuse, Arizona State, Utah and UNLV.[5][6] USA Today predicts that Baylor and LSU may be favorites because of their strong track programs.[7]

During his senior season, the team played a schedule of out-of-state schools for its first 6 games before beginning league competition. Bishop Gorman won 4 of those games. Its October 4 contest with Miami's Booker T. Washington High School was broadcast on ESPNU at a time when Washington was the number one ranked high school in the country.[8][9] By that time, he had added offers from Kansas State and Yale.[10] In the five previous season under head coach Tony Sanchez, Bishop Gorman had gone 60–5 and not lost by more than 14 points.[9] Bishop Gorman entered the game with national rankings of 18 by Rivals.com,[9] 32 by Student Sports.[11] Gorman trailed 14–12 with 8:35 remaining when Cunningham fumbled. Washington scored a touchdown and then another following Cunningham's third interception, resulting in a 28–12 defeat.[12][13] Subsequently, Cunningham led Gorman through an undefeated Southwest League regular season, marking the seventh consecutive such occurrence for the school.[14] By mid-November, Cunningham stated "I like USC, UCLA, Kansas State, Texas, ASU, and Indiana - and Oregon as well".[15] On December 7, he led Gorman to a 48–14 victory over Edward C. Reed High School in the state championship, rushing for 4 touchdowns and 213 yards on 22 carries and throwing for a touchdown and 111 yards on 9-of-11 passing.[16][17] Cunningham was briefly recruited by Clay Helton, USC quarterback coach under Steve Sarkisian, but USC did not make him a football scholarship offer. After accepting a track scholarship to USC, Cunningham announced he would attempt to walk-on to the football team.[18]

Name Home town High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Randall Cunningham II
QB / WR
Las Vegas, Nevada Bishop Gorman (NV) 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 4.4  
Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 77
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 134 WR   Rivals: No rating (QB, dual-threat)  ESPN: 25 (QB, dual-threat), 2 (NV)
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

Track[edit]

On August 1, 2010, Cunningham placed second in the 13–14 age group at the USATF National Junior Olympics with a high jump of 5 feet 8.75 inches (1.75 m).[19] As a freshman, he won the May 20, 2011 NIAA AAAA high jump championship with a jump of 6 feet 7 inches (2.01 m).[20] As a sophomore, he sat out of NIAA competition after transferring.[6] His father's best high jump in high school was 6 feet 9 inches (2.06 m).[21] On June 24, 2012, Cunningham established the USATF 15–16 age group Outdoor Track & Field record with a jump of 2.16 metres (7 ft 1.0 in).[22][23] Cunningham won the August 2012 National AAU Junior Olympic Games high jump with a jump of 7 feet 2 inches (2.18 m).[24] He actually won the 15–16 age group with a height of 6 feet 9 inches (2.06 m).[25] The Junior Olympic age group record of 7 feet 0 inches (2.13 m) by Johnnie Bartley had stood since 1986,[25] but Cunningham continued to jump past his winning height to establish a new Junior Olympic record.[26] By April 11 of his 2013 junior season, he had already cleared 7 feet (2.13 m), which was the NIAA state championship record, four times that season.[6] In the May 18, 2013 NIAA state championships, he achieved a high jump of 7 feet 3.25 inches (2.22 m), which was the best height by a high school high jumper in the nation that year.[3][27] He earned the 2013 Nevada Track & Field Gatorade Player of the Year award.[28] In the August 2013 AAU Junior Olympics, he was second or third in the 17–18 age group with a height of 6 feet 10 inches (2.08 m) or 7 feet (2.13 m), depending on the source.[26][29] On January 3, 2014, he made a verbal commitment to the USC Trojans track team, shunning over 30 football scholarship offers.[18] In 2014 at the annual Mt. SAC (Mt. San Antonio College) Relays, he set the American high school season best for boys of 7 feet 2 inches (2.18 m) on the same April 12 day his sister Vashti did so for girls with 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m).[30] He was surpassed by Bryant O'Georgia of Arizona by one quarter inch in May.[31] Cunningham placed first in the May 24, 2014 NIAA state championship with a high jump of 6 feet 11 inches (2.11 m) and second with a long jump of 22 feet 8.25 inches (6.92 m).[32]

As a freshman at the University of Southern California, Cunningham finished second at the PAC-12 Outdoor Championships with a height of 2.16 metres (7 ft 1 in)[33] and tied for 8th at the 2015 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships (2.16 metres (7 ft 1 in)).[34] Two weeks later, he won the U.S. Junior National Championship with a 2.20 m (7 ft 212 in).[35] His top 8 finish in the NCAAs earned him All-American recognition.[36] In his freshman year, Randall was coached by 2-time Olympian Jamie Nieto who took over as the USC assistant coach in charge of jumps and multi-events on August 20, 2014.[37] Later that summer he earned a gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships with a jump of 2.16 m (7 ft 1 in). His sister Vashti also won gold at that same competition.[38]

Personal[edit]

In a highly anticipated birth,[39] Cunningham II was born to Randall Cunningham and Felicity (née De Jager)[40] in Las Vegas on January 4, 1996.[41][42] He is well known as the son of 2-time All-American punter and 4-time Pro Bowl quarterback Cunningham.[4] He is also the nephew of College Football Hall of Fame running back Sam Cunningham.[6] In addition, he has two other Cunningham uncles (A.C. and Bruce) who played Division I football.[6] His mother, Felicity, is a native South African who was formerly a professional ballerina with the Dance Theatre of Harlem.[4][40] His sister, Vashti, who is two classes behind him at Bishop Gorman,[6] set the National High School Record of 1.94 m (6 ft 414 in) on April 18, 2015 at the Mt. SAC Relays.[43] His brother, Christian, died at age 2.[4] Cunningham also competes in the long jump.[6]

As of his junior year in high school, Cunningham intended to compete in both football and track in college,[4][6] although his father's alma mater, UNLV, does not have a men's track program.[4] Baylor, who made him his first offer, has coined the nickname RC2, a reference to RG3, for him.[4] He aspired to break the national high school record of 7 feet 5.75 inches (2.28 m),[4] and he also aspires to be an Olympic high jumper, but the automatic qualifying jump for the 2012 team was 7 feet 5.76 inches (2.28 m).[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Keefer, Case (2009-12-14). "Silverado hires Randall Cunningham as offensive coordinator". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  2. ^ Aird, Tristan (August 17, 2011). "Cunningham resigns as Silverado aide". Nevada Preps (Las Vegas Review-Journal). 
  3. ^ a b Cohen, Michael (2013-05-28). "Syracuse football team in pursuit of dual-threat quarterback Randall Cunningham II". Syracuse Post-Standard. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Sherman, Mitch (2013-03-08). "My time to shine: Randall Cunningham II relishes the chance to live up to his famous last name". ESPN. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  5. ^ Jones, James (2013-08-03). "Mississippi State, LSU offers Randall Cunningham Jr.". Sun Herald. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Schoen, David (2013-04-11). "Gorman siblings not burdened by celebrated name". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  7. ^ a b McIntyre, Jason (2013-06-01). "Randall Cunningham’s Son Will Be an NFL Quarterback or an Olympian High Jumper. Maybe Both". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  8. ^ Fernandez, Andre C. (2013-10-01). "Booker T. Washington heads to Las Vegas to square off against Bishop Gorman". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  9. ^ a b c Brewer, Ray (2013-10-03). "Gorman football ready for showdown against nation’s No. 1-ranked team". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  10. ^ Wilkerson, William (2013-10-04). "Big 12 recruiting mailbag". ESPN. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  11. ^ Sherman, Mitch (2013-10-04). "Sanchez sets bar at Bishop Gorman". ESPN. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  12. ^ Fernandez, Andre C. (2013-10-05). "Late touchdowns lead Booker T. Washington past Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  13. ^ Brewer, Ray (2013-10-05). "Gorman not satisfied with moral victory of respectable performance against nation’s top team". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  14. ^ Brewer, Ray (2013-11-08). "Gorman completes 7th straight undefeated Southwest League season". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  15. ^ Jensen, Mike (2013-11-18). "New Randall on the rise". Philly.com. Retrieved 2013-11-23. 
  16. ^ Brewer, Ray (2013-12-07). "Live blog: Gorman downs Reed 48-14 for fifth straight state championship: Randall Cunningham II has more than 200 rushing yards, five total touchdowns in victory". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  17. ^ Brewer, Ray (2013-12-07). "One for the thumb: Gorman rides QB Cunningham to fifth straight state championship". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  18. ^ a b Brewer, Ray (2014-01-03). "Randall Cunningham II to focus on track in college, commits to USC: The dual-sport athlete will also try to earn a spot in USC’s football program, but nothing is guaranteed". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  19. ^ "USATF Junior Olympics National T&F Championships - Day 6". Athletic.net, LLC. 2010-08-01. Retrieved 2013-10-11. 
  20. ^ "Nevada State Championships-Unofficial Results". Athletic.net. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  21. ^ Stephens, Mitch (2013-07-19). "Reebok Top 25 Most Dynamic Athletes: Randall Cunningham Jr.". MaxPreps. Retrieved 2013-09-07. 
  22. ^ "2013 USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships". USA Track & Field. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  23. ^ "2012 Region 15 Meet". ESPN. 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2013-10-11. 
  24. ^ Krider, Dave (2012-08-04). "Randall Cunningham Jr. high jumps 7-2". MaxPreps. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  25. ^ a b "2012 AAU JO Games - 7/28/2012 to 8/4/2012". Amateur Athletic Union. 2012-08-04. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  26. ^ a b "2013 AAU JO Games - 7/27/2013 to 8/3/2013". Amateur Athletic Union. 2013-08-03. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  27. ^ "Season: 2013 Outdoor: Men's High School High Jump". Athletic.net. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  28. ^ "Nevada Boys Track & Field AOY: Randall Cunningham". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  29. ^ "AAU Junior Olympic Championships - (Dyestat Meet Page)". Dyestat,com. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  30. ^ Schoen, David (2014-04-22). "Local track and field stars set high standards at Mt. SAC Relays". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2014-05-02. 
  31. ^ Obert, Richard (2014-05-11). "Bryant O' Georgia sets high jump state record, captures title". AZCentral.com. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  32. ^ "Nevada State Championships Day 2". Athletic.net. 2014-05-24. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  33. ^ "Pac-12 Track and Field Championships - 5/9/2015 to 5/17/2015" (PDF). Pac-12 Conference. 2015-05-17. Retrieved 2015-06-28. 
  34. ^ "NCAA Division I 2015 Outdoor Track & Field Championships". 2015-06-13. Retrieved 2015-06-28. 
  35. ^ "USATF Outdoor Track & Field Championships". 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2015-06-28. 
  36. ^ Young, Donald (2015-06-15). "2015 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field All-Americans Announced". U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Retrieved 2015-06-28. 
  37. ^ "Jamie Nieto". USCTrojans.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2015-07-17. 
  38. ^ Robinson, Javier Clavelo (2015-08-03). "Aguilar breaks world junior javelin record at Pan American Junior Championships". International Association of Athletics Federations. Retrieved 2015-08-10. 
  39. ^ Mulligan, Kevin (1995-12-28). "When Push Comes To Shove Randall: If My Wife Is In Labor, I May Miss The Game Oh, Baby! Cunningham Would Miss Game, Go To Vegas If Wife Goes Into Labor Playoff Birth For Randall?". Philly.com. Retrieved 2014-01-03. 
  40. ^ a b "Weddings of the Year". People. 1993-07-26. Retrieved 2013-01-03. 
  41. ^ "Cunningham Saga Finally Over: It's a Boy". Chicago Sun-Times. January 5, 1996. Retrieved January 3, 2014. Cunningham's wife gave birth to the couple's first baby Wednesday night in Las Vegas.  – via HighBeam (subscription required)
  42. ^ "Knee Surgery to Keep Faulk Out on Sundayel 637". The Washington Post. January 6, 1996. Retrieved January 4, 2014.  – via HighBeam (subscription required)
  43. ^ "Bishop Gorman’s Vashti Cunningham sets national record in girls high jump". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2015-04-18. Retrieved 2015-04-21. 

External links[edit]