Micale Cunningham has learned a thing or two from a former Heisman Trophy winner.
The redshirt junior quarterback for Louisville football was listed at 150/1 odds and included in a list of 40 players for the 2020 Heisman Trophy at William Hill.
Cunningham communicates with Lamar Jackson, the Heisman Trophy winner in 2016, daily as a way to learn the position. Cunningham threw for 2,061 yards and 22 touchdowns while rushing for 482 yards and six scores as Louisville went 8-5 and placed second in the ACC Atlantic Division last season.
Jackson, who passed for more than 9,000 yards and rushed for over 4,000 yards in his three-year career at Louisville, shares stories with Cunningham about the media attention he received in college.
“He [Jackson] was saying they would ask him things like that, he would keep it calm, cool and collected,” Cunningham said. “You can’t pay attention to things like that. Those types of things are for the media and Heisman Committee.”
Cunningham says seeing how Jackson handles being in the spotlight allows him to emulate the Baltimore Raven quarterback. Cunningham isn’t worried about accolades, calling himself a team guy.
Cunningham had one of his best performances in his career in Louisville’s victory over Mississippi State in the Music City Bowl. He tied a career-high with 16 completions for 279 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 81 yards, which ended with him being awarded the Music City Bowl MVP.
The 6-foot-1 Montgomery, Ala. native set the school record for passing efficiency as a redshirt sophomore in 2019. He doesn’t want additional attention to disrupt his performance.
“I’m just going to go out there and play my game,” Cunningham said. “Try to make my teammates better and try to win a championship together as one.”
Cunningham continues to learn from Jackson as he prepares for the 2020 season.
“I communicate with him every day to see what he is doing, check up on him,” Cunningham said. “We all have a group chat. We have just been keeping each other company during this time.”