Four-star defensive end Jermaine Cunningham out of Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson took his first official visit of the season this weekend to Blacksburg. The 6-foot-3, 196-pounder enjoyed his trip even though the Hokies lost a tough 27-7 contest to Miami.
"Going in I didn't have too many expectations, but I got there and saw the facilities, pregame walk, fans and coaches. I liked it all," he said. "I got there on Saturday and did the walk and went to the game and ate out. Today I toured the campus and talked to the coaches and got to know them pretty well. I got to meet everyone on the coaching staff and I really liked coach Ward and Beamer. They all told me how I fit into the defensive scheme, how they'll help me get a degree if I go there and where I fit into the depth chart. I had pretty good conversations with the coaches and we covered a lot of topics.
"I also got to talk to the players and was hosted on the visit by Chris Ellis. He's a good player and a little like me. I could tell he doesn't like losing because the whole night he wasn't quite right. He did tell me that the coaches treat you like you're their sons and I really liked that."
How did the loss affect the Rivals250 prospect?
"The game was hyped until Miami just shut down their offense and caused turnovers," he said. "Despite that, the fans were in it the whole 60 minutes and the atmosphere there is a great feeling to be around because those people love their football."
Overall Cunningham rated his trip to Virginia Tech a nine or ten.
"I'd probably say it's about that because the fans, game experience and coaching staff stood out," he said. "The only thing I missed out on was to see the academics, specifically the business management department, but I plan to come back to see that with my parents on another trip.
"Right now, I'd say Virginia Tech is right up there with Florida. Auburn and Tennessee are trailing behind a little bit."
In the next three weeks the No. 4 weakside defensive end in the country plans to take visits to the other three schools including Tennessee next weekend.
"I'm going with no expectations for that trip," he said. "I just want to see what they are recruiting me for and see what they have to offer."