High School Sports

St. Martin sophomore starting to demand college interest

St. Martin offensvie lineman Brandon Cunningham provides pass protection in 2016. Cunningham has been one of the more popular recruits on the Coast recently. He holds offers from Southern Miss, Nicholls and Memphis.
St. Martin offensvie lineman Brandon Cunningham provides pass protection in 2016. Cunningham has been one of the more popular recruits on the Coast recently. He holds offers from Southern Miss, Nicholls and Memphis. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com file

St. Martin sophomore Brandon Cunningham has seen his recruiting stock skyrocket in recent weeks.

247Sports recently unveiled its 2019 class rankings, with the Yellow Jacket slotted at No. 225 nationally. The website also ranks him as the No. 28 offensive tackle and eighth-best Mississippian in the class.

Colleges have quickly taken notice of the 6-foot-4, 285-pound lineman. Southern Miss was the first to offer, April 28. Nicholls, Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C., Jones County J.C. and Memphis all followed suit. Other larger schools such as Ole Miss and Mississippi State have also shown interest.

“It was very exciting because my first offer was a Division I offer and a good school,” Cunningham said. “It was thrilling. I just felt like I’m doing something right if all this is happening.”

Though Cunningham said the USM offer came “out of the blue,” St. Martin coach Eddie Wayne Whitehead wasn’t surprised. He expects big things from his mammoth lineman.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been around somebody with his combination of size and ability,” Whitehead said. “He’s going to end up with a bunch of offers. He has really good feet, size, and he definitely passes the eye test.”

As a sophomore in 2016, Cunningham was primarily a right tackle. He’ll diversify his resume this year and play some defensive end.

He flashed some of his defensive abilities in St. Martin’s spring game against Vicksburg, where he recorded two sacks and six total tackles.

Memphis saw how he performed earlier in the team’s intrasquad and actually offered the lineman as a defensive end. He said all of his other offers are as a right tackle.

Heading into only his junior season, Cunningham said he’ll likely let his recruitment play out into his senior year before making any decisions.

Offers have been flying around lately for Coast standouts. Here’s a rundown of public offers:

CLASS OF 2018

Gulfport LB Karlos Dillard: Nicholls, Army, Princeton, Alcorn, Cornell

Harrison Central RB Keon Moore: Texas-San Antonio, Jackson State, Louisiana-Lafayette

Ocean Springs QB Malcolm Magee: Nicholls

Poplarville DB D.J. Travis: Arkansas State, Jackson State

East Central WR Brad Cumbest: Nicholls

CLASS OF 2019

Harrison Central OL Bryce Ramsey: Jackson State, Memphis, Southern Miss

D’Iberville C Louis Paul Smith: Southern Miss, Troy, Nicholls

St. Martin OL Brandon Cunningham: Southern Miss, Nicholls, Memphis

CLASS OF 2020

George County McKinnley Jackson: Louisiana-Lafayette, Ole Miss, Memphis, Auburn, Southern Miss, South Alabama, Mississippi State

Are we missing an offer? If so, let us know at sports@sunherald.com.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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