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Malik Cunningham eager to join Alabama prep QB in NFL

Malik Cunningham eager to join Alabama prep QB in NFL

In the AFC championship game on Sunday, the former Alabama high school quarterbacks lined up on opposite sides of the football, with Kadarius Toney of Blount at cornerback for the Kansas City Chiefs and Cam Taylor-Britt of Park Crossing at cornerback for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Joining both players, Malik Cunningham is expected to join the NFL after Reese’s Senior Bowl.

Tony is headed to Super Bowl LVII after the Chiefs’ 23-20 victory on Sunday.

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In his final game as a quarterback at Florida before transitioning to wide receiver, Toney threw for 493 yards and five touchdowns and ran for 108 yards and two touchdowns, even though Blount lost Park Crossing 54- in the third round. lost to 51. AHSAA Class 6A Playoffs on November 18, 2016. At quarterback for the Thunderbirds, Cunningham scored 292 yards and four touchdowns through the air and 77 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Cunningham said of the game against Tony, “I was telling a scout from the Chiefs about it the other night.” “Just looking at what he’s doing right now – he’s in the Super Bowl, so I wish him the best of luck and hope he makes it back stateside.”

Tony won the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Class 6A Back of the Year Award, and Cunningham earned first-team all-state recognition in 2016.

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Cunningham passed for 2,913 yards and 30 touchdowns and ran for 1,015 yards and 19 touchdowns in his senior season at Park Crossing. The Thunderbirds won the Class 6A Region 2 for the third consecutive season in 2017 with Taylor-Britt at quarterback. Taylor-Britt switched to the secondary at Nebraska, but as a Park Crossing QB, he had 1,466 passing yards and 16 TD passes and 1,030 rushing yards and 14 TD runs and earned first-team all-state honors in his senior season. did.

“Before the (AFC Championship) game, I talked to Cam,” Cunningham said, “and I was telling him, ‘There you are, man. One more game, you’re in the Super Bowl.’ It was good to see him compete this year, he played at a very high level.

“Now I want to see Kadrius finish it.”

Taylor-Britt’s rookie season ended in the AFC Championship Game. Tony is playing in his second NFL season.

Cunningham is behind Toney and Taylor-Britt, who entered the NFL after spending six seasons in Louisville. He redshirted in 2017, while 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson completed his college career with the Cardinals. Cunningham made his first three starts in 2018, then spent four seasons as Louisville’s No. 1 QB.

Cunningham finished his college career with 9,660 passing yards and 70 touchdown passes and 3,179 rushing yards and 50 touchdown runs. But he was the last quarterback announced for the 2023 Senior Bowl roster after Georgia’s Stetson Bennett declined to play.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Cunningham said. “I’m humbled and blessed to be here. Wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. An Alabama kid coming back to Alabama to play his last collegiate game. I couldn’t have wanted to end any other way.”

Cunningham did not get off to a strong start in the Senior Bowl. He measured in at 5 feet 11.875, and missed Tuesday’s practice because of a stomach bug. But he was back on the field for Wednesday’s workout.

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Cunningham said, “I just want to show that I can compete at a high level with these guys and make all the throws I need to.” “I want to show that I’m capable of operating a pro-style offense, that I’m capable of making throws from the pocket, which I’ve done throughout my career. There are a lot of familiar faces here that I grew up with. Or played against them in high school, so I’m lucky to be here.

Cunningham is one of seven former Alabama stars in this year’s Senior Bowl.

Troy center Jake Andrews, a teammate of Cunningham’s on the national team this week, was a second team all-state pick in 2016 when Park Crossing won 19–0 over Stanhope Elmore on September 2, 2016. Cunningham also has a team. Prep win over DJ Dell, a defensive tackle on the American team from Alabama. On October 21, 2016, the Thunderbirds defeated Clay-Chalkville 56–17.

Taylor-Britt said much of what she learned at Park Crossing is helping her deal with senior bowl week.

“You’ve got to dive into the playbook and get a clear understanding,” Taylor-Britt said, “because at the quarterback position, you have a lot on your shoulders.” I have been in this position my whole life, so the pressure is not huge for me. I love moments like this.”

Along with Cunningham’s height, each of the other five quarterbacks in the Senior Bowl has shortcomings in the eyes of NFL talent evaluators. Cunningham said he thinks the Senior Bowl QB has a similar mindset on his mission.

Cunningham said, “You just have to put your head down and get to work.” “I don’t really worry about all the stocks and things like that because at the end of the day you still have to go from first pick to last pick, go in and prove yourself and show that you belong. All the boys seem to understand that, and we all have a chip on our shoulder. It doesn’t matter where you are picked from. It matters how you survive and how you stand as a player. evolve.”

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The 74th Annual Ridge Senior Bowl begins Saturday at 1:30 p.m. CST on Mobile. NFL Network will broadcast the game. ticket can be bought online,

for more AL.COMNFL coverage, visit our nfl page

Mark Inabinet is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. follow him on twitter @AMarkG1,

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