It's not often that Vanderbilt makes headlines on national signing day, but Wednesday's class that head coach James Franklin hauled in features one of the top wide receivers in the country.
Certainly not bad company for Vanderbilt to beat, much less be in to begin with.
However, it wasn't just the commitment of Cunningham that was so impressive. It was what Cunningham said in the process that will really make Franklin smile.
Cunningham mentioned a 50-year career plan that includes becoming a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) football player, a degree as a professional engineer and an entrepreneur once his football career is done.
"The academics, that was a big deal to me," Cunningham told ESPNU after his announcement. "Football is going to end at some point. You have to have a backup plan. You have to have a degree to fall back on. You can get hurt at any moment, and you could decide that you don't want to play anymore."
Good for Cunningham. That's the kind of thing you love to hear from a prospect.
Prospects handle the enormity of the situation in a variety of ways, but it's refreshing anytime a prospect has the big picture in perspective and makes his decision with that in mind.
Landing Cunningham also reaffirms that what Franklin is selling to kids is working.
Prospects get the benefit of playing in the toughest college football conference in the country (with the most exposure to NFL scouts) while getting an education at the 17th-ranked national university in the U.S. News & World Report.
Football isn't forever, and even the top players in the NFL make their money in a very tight time frame. While it's not likely that Cunningham will compete for a national championship during his college football career, he will be very prepared for his future—whatever that may be.
After all, isn't that the purpose of college?