By Will Cummings
my Hit News.com
Over the recently concluded school holiday break, Omaha Burke’s All-State defensive lineman Eric Cummings gave an oral commitment to attend the University of South Dakota.
The 6-2, 265 lb. Cummings is rated the No. 10 prospect in Nebraska by Rivals and the 70th DT prospect in the country by ESPN.
A three year strarter at defensive end for the Burke Bulldogs, Cummings is being recruited by the Coyotes’ coaching staff to play defensive tackle.
Cummings stated that his decision to commit to USD was greatly influenced by the Coyotes’ coaching staff and in particular Defensive Coordinator Jarod Dodson, who was a 2007 finalist for the American Football Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year award.
“I really liked the coaching staff and how they treated me. Coach Dodson has great energy and he just made me feel part of the team already. And I think I can learn a lot from Coach Sprauge, my position coach.”
Defensive line coach Jake Sprague is a former Wisconsin Badger and a 2002 All-Big Ten honorable mention defensive lineman.
Asked about other schools pursuing him Cummings stated, “Nebraska wants me to walk on and a couple of other D-1 schools like Ohio University have still not decided on me. But I do have some offers from other D-IAA and Division II schools.
Right now, though, walking on is not an option for me. And, in the end, my decision to attend any school will come down to how I feel about the staff and the players on the team.
I feel good about both at USD. And that’s why I committed to them.”
Cummings Wrestles for First Time
Cummings also mentioned that he wanted to get the recruiting process over as soon as possible so that he can concentrate on wrestling, a sport he just recently picked up.
Only having been a member of Burke’s wrestling team for just two weeks and competing in his first high school wrestling match this past weekend, Cummings managed to get by some state ranked opponents on his way to picking up a couple of wins and capturing a third place finish at the Tom Dineen Invitational Wrestling Tournament.
2008 Football Honors
In 2008 Cummings was selected All-State Class A first team DL and Super State second team DL by the Lincoln Journal Star and All-Metro Conference first team DL by the Omaha World-Herald.
Family Sports Bio
Cummings’ father, William Gary Cummings, played football at Kansas State and Ohio State and his grandfather, Bill Cummings Jr., was a member of Ohio State University’s 1954 national championship team and a 1957 draft pick of the Cleveland Browns. Bill Cummings Jr. was also a two-time Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) USA Boxing Coach of the Year awardee.
University of South Dakota Information
The University of South Dakota is a Division I-AA school, located in Vermillion, South Dakota (pop. 10,251) and it is a member of the Great West Conference.
The Coyotes head coach is Ed Meierkort who will be entering his sixth season at the helm in 2009. Under Meierkort, the Coyotes have posted five consecutive winning seasons, finishing the 2008 campaign at 6-5.