As he moves closer to trimming his list from 12 to a more manageable five, Qualen Cunningham isn't doing much to dispel the notion that Texas A&M leads the pack.
The Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton defensive end's father was an Aggie. Cunningham has already visited the school's College Station campus and wears A&M gear around his high school from time to time. He won't come out and say Kevin Sumlin's program is the frontrunner, even if he's done so in the past. But, now, when asked if he has an idea which schools will remain unscathed when it comes time to make his cut, he offers only one name.
"I think that A&M will still be standing in there somewhere," Cunningham said on Sunday. "They'll probably still be standing. I don't have a top list yet because I haven't been able to make enough visits, but I'm definitely getting close to cutting it. For right now, all the schools that were there in the beginning are still there."
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And so the status quo remains. That's not to say his recruitment is over, though. The four-star prospect swears he's wide open to other schools, and the frequency with which he plans to hit the road supports his claim.
"I'm going to take as many visits as I can right now," he said. "I am going to have to see everything. I want to be able to look at a school and see if I will be comfortable there for the next three of four years before I come up with a top list.
The next two months will be a certified travel grind. Cunningham has plans to check out UCLA and Oklahoma and others before the start of his senior season. He recently took in the campuses of Washington and USC.
"I like the facilities that both of them had to offer," Cunningham said of the visits, "With SC, I want to major in sports marketing or architectural engineering. I could see myself pursuing both of those fields.
"It was a good visit to Washington, too. I saw the campus and did the camp. I feel like I learned a couple moves down there."
The No. 5 weakside defensive end in America, Cunningham says he hopes to have his list trimmed by the start of the season but has not said a specific date.
As a junior at Hamilton, the 220-pound Cunningham was the anchor of a defensive line that helped the Huskies amass a 12-2 record and an Arizona state championship.