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Roseville’s Cunha, a backup in 2010, parlays a record-breaking senior year into a scholarship

By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Zac Cunha described his junior year as “a hiding year.”

Playing off his choice of words, Cunha came out of hiding last fall as the quarterback at Roseville High School. He had a big season, landed a scholarship and signed a national letter of intent with Minot State of North Dakota on Wednesday.

Cunha was the backup to Nick Blaser in 2010. As the Tigers’ starter last fall, the 6-foot-3, 235-pound Cunha passed for a Sierra Foothill League-best 2,292 yards and a school-record 24 touchdowns. He averaged 20.6 yards per completion, and Cody Lindner, his favorite target, set a school record with 1,087 yards receiving.

“It was huge because he really was only a one-year varsity starter, so he made the most of the one year,” said Larry Cunha, Zac’s dad and Roseville’s varsity head coach. “Other quarterbacks usually have two years, three years in a system to put up some numbers.”

Zac Cunha said he received minuscule attention last school year.

“Hardly a letter,” he said.

With a big season of stats and a 3.94 GPA, the attention increased. UC Davis offered Cunha a walk-on opportunity, Simon Fraser was after him, and Colgate was knocking, according to Larry Cunha. So were other Division II, III and NAIA schools, including Cal Lutheran and Redlands.

Cunha visited Southern Oregon and made his official visit to Minot last weekend. He said the people were “super nice” on campus and at different places in town.
He also said the facilities are of NCAA Division I quality.

“Everything is new there,” Cunha said. “Not just football. The classrooms are renovated, the science buildings, math.”

Cunha’s teammate, All-SFL second-team offensive tackle Tobin Gramyk, made a verbal commitment to the University of San Diego and will sign at a later date, according to Larry Cunha.