Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham entering NFL draft

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham is bypassing his final year of eligibility and entering the NFL draft.

Cunningham confirmed his decision on Sunday, after first announcing his plans Saturday night at an event in Connecticut.

The fourth-year junior was named an All-American after leading the Southeastern Conference with 125 tackles and finishing third with 16 tackles for loss. Cunningham helped lead Vanderbilt to wins over Georgia and Tennessee and a trip to the Independence Bowl.

Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason said he could not be more proud of Cunningham, who worked as hard as any athlete he has ever coached.

Cunningham has been projected as a first-round selection in some mock drafts.