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Zach Cunningham named national defensive player of the week

The standout Vanderbilt linebacker had 19 (!) tackles in an upset of Georgia Saturday.

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Cunningham transformed from overlooked Commodore to breakout star after making a game-saving tackle out of nowhere in Vanderbilt’s 17-16 win at Georgia Saturday.

His superhuman, 19-tackle performance didn’t go unnoticed. The junior linebacker was named the Walter Camp Player of the Week on Sunday.

Cunningham is the third Vanderbilt player to win national player of the week honors and first since 2008. That season, defensive backs Ryan Hamilton and D.J. Moore each earned the award while carrying the Commodores to their first bowl game since 1982.

Cunningham ranks fourth in the nation and first in the SEC with 81 tackles through just seven games in 2016.