Top rated prospect Ian-Yates Cunningham is having a pretty good day. First, he announces his decision to attend the University of Virginia on a national media forum. Now, he gets to enjoy tonight’s festivities, which includes his appearance on a broadcast of Cavtalk, where he hopes to give the Cavalier nation a glimpse into what kind of player, and person, they will watch on Saturdays.
“ESPN was awesome,” said Cunningham. “The best thing, though, is looking forward to Cavtalk tonight. I will be able to talk to some of the people who are from where I’m going to be next year. I want to meet them and give them a chance to know me a little bit.”
Announcing his decision was a big relief for the talented offensive line prospect. Although he favored the Cavaliers for quite a while, learning more about Georgia Tech and Nebraska made the decision a lot tougher.
“I’ve known for awhile that Virginia might be the place for me,” said Cunningham. “It was real, real tough though. Georgia Tech and Nebraska almost made me give my vote to one of them.
“I chose Virginia because of the player-player relationship, and the coach-player relationship. Plus the fan support is awesome. The fans really support their team. I love the fans and I love the Cavs.”
Another factor in Cunningham’s decision was his relationship with some of Virginia’s already committed players such as Jordy Lipsey and Jon Stupar. He got to know these athletes pretty well throughout this process, and they are all excited about the future of Virginia football.
“They knew full well about my decision,” said Cunningham. “They kind of kept it on the down low for me. Getting to know everyone – Jordy [Lipsey], Marshall [Ausberry], Kevin [McCabe], Jon [Stupar] – was great. I’m excited to be apart of this.”
Cunningham committed on the day that 2002 USA Today Defensive Player of the Year Ahmad Brooks was officially accepted to Virginia. He is excited for Ahmad and looks forward to the challenge of facing him everyday in practice.
“That’s great,” said Cunningham of Brooks’ acceptance. “I’m really happy for him. He was the best player in the nation last year defensively, and I look forward to going against him. I like to put myself against the best.”