Cunningham named TSWA Player of the Year

June 8, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Zach Cunningham was named the 2016 Player of the Year by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Thursday afternoon. 

Cunningham was a standout for the Commodores during his junior season and ended his college career as one of the most decorated players in Vanderbilt history.

He led the SEC in total tackles (125) and fumble recoveries (four) while finishing second in second in solo tackles (71) and third in tackles for loss (16.5). Cunningham's unassisted stops and total tackles were the most by a Commodore defender in a dozen years. Cunningham's 16.5 tackles for loss tied for the third-highest total in a single season in modern Vanderbilt history.

Cunningham earned consensus First Team All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), Associated Press (AP), American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and the Walter Camp Foundation. ESPN, CBS Sports, FOX Sports, Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, USA Today and Phil Steele were other prominent outlets naming Cunningham as a first team All-America. He was named to the All-SEC first team for the second consecutive-season. 

Back in April, Cunningham was selected by the Houston Texans with the 57th pick in the second round of the NFL Draft. That marked the highest defensive-selection for a Commodore in 16 years. 

He and Memphis coach Mike Norvell will be honored at the upcoming TSWA Hall of Fame banquet on July 13 at Baird Chapel on Cumberland University's campus.



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