Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Film Doesn't Lie, Cunningham Can Play

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Film Doesn't Lie, Cunningham Can Play

Article excerpt

Rams rookie free agent Benny Cunningham played the game of his life in high school, and Rams coach Jeff Fisher was there to see it.

"Yeah, and they beat my youngest son's team I think in the playoffs so we're going to cut his signing bonus in half," Fisher joked. "Honestly, I don't remember him in the game, but I'm going to go back and look at my hand-held video camera and see."

After losing to them in a regular-season game, Cunningham's Goodpasture High team defeated Trent Fisher's Christ Presbyterian Academy squad in the third round of the playoffs in a battle of Nashville-area schools.

Trent, Fisher's youngest son, now plays safety at Auburn.

Cunningham, a running back, jokingly offered to refresh his new head coach's memory of that playoff game.

"I set a (school) record for touchdowns scored in a game and all- purpose yards," Cunningham said. "I had 315 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns. I've got a copy of that (game). I'm gonna make sure he watches that. Hopefully, that increases my chances."

Fisher said the Rams took notice of Cunningham on film before this year's draft, but it was while watching defensive players on opposing teams.

"He kept popping up every time we were looking at some defensive players and common opponents," Fisher said.

Cunningham played his college ball at Middle Tennessee State, and the Blue Raiders of the Sun Belt Conference played a pretty good schedule in 2012: Purdue, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Florida International, Memphis, and a 10-victory Arkansas State squad were among their opponents.

Cunningham, 5 feet 10 and 209 pounds, rushed for 217 yards and five touchdowns against Georgia Tech, and gained 230 yards against Florida International.

But he played only half the season before suffering a knee injury (ruptured patella tendon) that ended his year.

Cunningham wasn't healthy enough to do anything but bench press at Middle Tennessee's pro day. …

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