Cunningham returning to Hogs in 2021
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FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas fans received a late Christmas gift from Myron Cunningham on Saturday.
Just a day after Grant Morgan made a similar decision on Christmas Day, the Razorbacks’ starting left tackle announced via Twitter that he would return to the team for another season in 2021.
“These past two years have been nothing short of a blessing,” Cunningham wrote. “I just wanna thank the Hog fans for all the support these past two years but we aren’t done yet.”
After beginning his career at Western Illinois, an FCS program, Cunningham decided to take the junior college route and eventually became a JUCO All-American at Iowa Western C.C.
He signed with Arkansas in the Class of 2019, turning down an offer and late push from Oklahoma. At 6-foot-7, he was an immediate contributor for the Razorbacks.
Cunningham split time between tackle and guard throughout his first spring and fall camp in Fayetteville before starting the first three games in 2019 at right guard. An injury to starting left tackle Colton Jackson allowed him to move into his more natural position.
He ended up starting seven of the final nine games at left tackle, missing the Texas A&M game and coming off the bench to play the majority of the snaps against Auburn. Pro Football Focus gave him a 58.7 overall grade for the year.
Under new head coach Sam Pittman, Cunningham bulked up from 290 to 325 pounds this season and drew some preseason attention as a possible NFL Draft prospect.
Cunningham was one of only two players in the SEC who didn’t miss a single offensive snap this year, as he cemented himself as the Razorbacks’ left tackle. His PFF grade improved to 66.2.
As a fifth-year senior, 2020 figured to be his final season at Arkansas, but the NCAA has granted blanket eligibility relief to all players in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Cunningham and Morgan are the Razorbacks’ first seniors to take advantage of the rule change and return for an extra year.
Likely a Day 3 pick in the NFL Draft if he left after this season, Cunningham could continue to rise in the eyes of NFL scouts with an extra year under Pittman, an offensive line guru.
“Obviously I think if we can keep him another year, we could really up his draft stock even higher,” Pittman said last month. “He’s gotten much bigger and can handle bull rushes better and things of that nature.
“I believe he’s gotten better. I believe if he came back, he’d get a lot better.”