One could only imagine that being Randall Cunningham's son would be a pressure-packed endeavor in regards to football, but for all intents and purposes it looks like Randall Cunningham II has what it takes to live up to the hype.
Cunningham's father is of course the famous Randall Cunningham of NFL and Philadelphia Eagles lore. Cunningham was a four-time pro bowler, and many view him as an integral player in the movement from pocket passing, pro-style quarterbacks to mobile quarterbacks that can run and throw.
The expectations are certainly high for Cunningham II, and according to Mitch Sherman of ESPN RecruitingNation, he has already garnered some offers and interest, plus a pretty cool nickname:
Talk about pressure. Cunningham has yet to start a high school football game, but as he nears the end of his junior year at powerhouse Las Vegas Bishop Gorman, the scholarship offers are piling up.
Baylor, whose coaches coined the nickname "RC2," was the first to offer, followed by hometown UNLV, Mississippi State and Syracuse. UCLA, Oregon and LSU are also showing interest in the 6-foot-5, 175-pound quarterback.
Apparently all it takes to get a cool nickname nowadays is a few roman numerals attached to your name, but that's a story for a different article.
The real story here is the fact that Cunningham has a ton of potential, and big-time schools are starting to take notice. He's 6'4'', 180 pounds, so he has great size like his father, who was also 6'4'', and he runs a 4.60 40, according to 247Sports.
According to the senior Cunningham, his son is faster than he was at his age, per Sherman's report:
"I took everything I learned from the NFL, and I just poured that into him," said the elder Cunningham, who has helped coach his son since his youth league days. "He's faster than I was [at his age], faster than I was in college, and he knows more of the game. He wants more and more and more.
Some schools are looking at him as a wide receiver, but according to his high school coach Tony Sanchez, Cunningham is a quarterback through and through (Sherman):
He's a quarterback, like his dad.
"He's got a strong arm," Sanchez said. "He's got good hips. The arm strength is there. The athleticism is there. I'll be honest with you. I'm excited to see what happens, because I don't know. This kid, as an athlete, is off the charts. Most kids that size do not run like him. You give him an inch, he's gone."
As with any recruit that has a pedigree of greatness, many look at the family member as almost the standard setter, and then expect the player to live up to those expectations. In some cases it doesn't work out, but in others, the younger player realizes his potential and plays up to the natural ability that was passed on down to him.
It seems as if Cunningham has the ability to fall into the latter category. He already has great size as just a junior, and his athleticism is off the charts. Football, as we know it, is slowly but surely changing, and having an athletic quarterback is becoming a must, no matter the scheme.
Even NFL quarterbacks that aren't considered "runners" first, like Aaron Rodgers or Andrew Luck, have the ability to get out the pocket, evade the rush and make something happen with their feet. It's not a scheme as it is almost a necessity, to be frank, considering the talent level, athleticism and speed of defensive lineman nowadays.
Will Cunningham II live up to the expectations?
Combine that with increased speed and size in the secondary, and it's becoming integral for a quarterback to be able to run the ball effectively as as second option.
The word on Cunningham is that he has a good arm, but he can also run, so in today's day and age of football, he has a bright future. According to Sherman's report, he should be starting this fall at Bishop Gorman.
Will he live up to the hype?
At this point it's anybody's guess, but he sure seems poised to do so.