Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham confirmed Sunday that he is bypassing his senior season and declaring for the NFL draft, the school announced.
Cunningham, the first unanimous All-American in Commodores' history, led the Southeastern Conference with 125 tackles this season. He posted 16 1/2 tackles for losses, tying him for third most in a season in school history.
Cunningham is considered a first-round pick. He is forecasted as the second-best outside linebacker and 23rd overall prospect by NFLDraftScout.com.
"We could not be more proud of Zach Cunningham and what he has accomplished as a student-athlete at Vanderbilt," Commodores coach Derek Mason said in the school's press release. "Zach leaves West End among the most decorated players in Commodore football history, and he works as hard as any student-athlete I have ever coached. Zach's been a great pleasure to coach and a tremendous teammate.
"Vanderbilt is indebted to Zach for his impact on our football program, on and off the field. Zach will always be a Vanderbilt Man, and we wish him years of success in the NFL."
Cunningham recorded 295 career tackles (39.5 for losses), seven forced fumbles and six sacks during three seasons with the Commodores.
Vanderbilt has produced only two first-round draft picks in the past 30 years. Quarterback Jay Cutler was the No. 11 overall selection by the Denver Broncos in 2006 and offensive tackle Chris Williams was the 14th pick in 2008 by the Chicago Bears.