The Recruiting Guy:

JUCO O-linemen give Hogs immediate boost

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Friday, December 14, 2018
Myron Cunningham
Myron Cunningham

The University of Arkansas' need for immediate help on the offensive line got a big boost with the commitments from junior college prospects Myron Cunningham and Chibueze Nwanna this week.

Cunningham, 6-6, 305 pounds, of Iowa Central Community College, made an official visit to Fayetteville over the weekend and announced his pledge to the Hogs on Tuesday.

ESPN rates Cunningham the No. 6 offensive tackle and Nwanna the No. 9 offensive tackle nationally in the junior college ranks. Offensive line coach Dustin Fry headed up the recruiting efforts of both.

Iowa Central offensive line coach Adam Dutcher describes Cunningham as extremely athletic.

"He shows he has tremendous balance," Dutcher said. "He uses his hands well. His feet are tremendous. It's a lot of things that technically he really worked on to really perfect his craft. He's a competitor."

Cunningham chose the Hogs over scholarship offers from Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Mississippi State, Missouri and others. He and Nwanna will enroll at Arkansas in January and go through offseason and spring practice.

Dutcher said SEC competition won't intimidate Cunningham.

"He played against the best players in junior college with SEC-level talent week in and week out and really showed his worth," Dutcher said. "So it's not like he's going to step into Arkansas and not know the competition. He goes against that competition every week."

Nwanna, 6-8, 315, of Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pa., selected the Razorbacks over scholarship offers from Maryland, Louisville, Massachusetts, Cincinnati, San Diego State and others on Wednesday after also officially visiting Fayetteville over the weekend.

Lackawanna Coach Mark Duda has produced numerous players that have gone on to play professionally, including two top 10 NFL Draft picks in offensive lineman Bryant McKinnie and receiver Kevin White.

Razorbacks fans won't have a problem noticing Nwanna on the field next season.

"He's a fascinating looking dude," Duda said. "He's one of the biggest creatures you've ever saw and it really does help him play on the offensive line that's for sure. "He's just massive, He's just so long, he's got an 18 or 20 shoe or something like that.

"He's a tenacious kid and he plays right through the whistle. So he's got a good motor. That's a heck of a combination."

Nwanna added more than 40 pounds since arriving at Lackawanna from Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, Md.

"He was like 270 or something, then it was 290 and then he was 310," Duda said. "He kept getting bigger and bigger and learning the position more and more, so he's a really good football player. I think he just has the physical advantage over everybody."

Duda, who who played at Maryland and was selected in the fourth round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, said Nwanna's length isn't the norm.

"It's crazy," Duda said. "He can touch his knees standing straight up. He can stand straight up and put his hands below his knees. He just has a tremendous reach. He's probably got the reach of a 7-footer or a 7-1 guy."

While Nwanna makes plenty of noise on the field, he's the opposite off.

"I think everybody will like his demeanor," Duda said. "He's quiet, he's not a real loud kid, but he's someone that loves to win and has worked really hard, so I think he'll fit right in on what's going on down there."

E-mail Richard Davenport at rdavenport@arkansasonline.com

Sports on 12/14/2018

Discussion

Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.