Friday, Jan. 3, 2014 | 2:30 p.m.
Bishop Gorman High’s Randall Cunningham II has been asked the question numerous times over the years: Are you going to play football or track in college?
Cunningham, the son of NFL great Randall Cunningham, finally has an answer. Well, sort of.
He verbally committed to the USC track team today, deciding his future as a high jumper could be brighter than that of a quarterback. He’ll still attempt to walk on to the USC football team but hasn’t reached out to the Trojans' new coaching staff.
“It was a tough decision, but now that I’ve decided, it’s a huge weight lifted off my shoulders,” he said. “I’m excited and truly blessed to go to USC.”
Cunningham had more than 30 scholarship offers combined for both sports. Schools such as LSU, Baylor, Utah and Arizona State told him he could do both sports. He was briefly recruited by USC quarterback coach Clay Helton, who was retained by new coach Steve Sarkisian.
Now, with nothing guaranteed at USC, Randall Cunnigham II the football player might have played his last down. And he says that’s just fine.
“If that happens (not playing at USC), I feel like I would still leave accomplished because what we accomplished this season,” he said.
Cunningham, a 6-foot-5 dual threat quarterback, started slow this season in his first as a varsity starter — in one game he had just five completions; in another he had seven completions and three interceptions.
But, by time the playoffs rolled around, he lived up the expectations. In the state championship game, he rushed for 213 yards and four touchdowns and 23 carries, and completed 9 of 11 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown to help Gorman win its fifth straight title.
Finally, after waiting until his senior year to become a starter, and then struggling to get acclimated, his potential was obvious. He plans on reaching out to Helton to see if there’s a spot on the USC football team.
“The sky is the limit for that kid,” Gorman coach Tony Sanchez said after the state championship game. “I’m hoping he wears a gold medal and a Super Bowl ring one day.”
Last spring, Cunningham cleared 7 feet in the high jump to break a more than 30-year-old Nevada high school record. His personal best jump is 7-3.25, which ranks him as the best in his age group nationally. Some feel he can contend for a spot in the 2016 Olympics.
Those dreams will be developed on the USC track. Verbal commitments are non-binding until national signing day in early February.