Syracuse Louisville Football

Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham (3) runs in for a touchdown ahead of the pursuit of Syracuse defensive back Eric Coley (34) and defensive back Darian Chestnut (20) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. Louisville won 41-3. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) -- With the standout season Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham has had, there was a question about his future, with some thinking he might choose to enter the NFL draft and not return for his final collegiate season, or maybe even transfer to a different school.

He hadn't revealed his intentions during the Cards' up-and-down 6-6 season, although his mother told ESPN Radio in Louisville last month that it was "50-50" whether he would return to UofL.

But on Friday Cunningham put that speculation to rest, announcing that he will be back with the Cards for the 2022 season.

"Card Nation don't worry, I'm staying home," the Alabama native tweeted.

Cunningham racked up more than 3,700 total yards with 18 passing touchdowns and 19 rushing TDs. He led all FBS quarterbacks with 968 yards on the ground. He was responsible for 78 percent of Louisville's touchdowns this season.

In a 62-22 win at Duke last month, Cunningham became just the second quarterback in FBS history to throw for more than 300 yards and rush for more than 200 in a single game. His four pass completions of more than 70 yards and two of more than 90 yards both led the nation.

Cunningham's decision was huge news for the Cards, who lost receiver Jordan Watkins to the transfer portal the week of the Kentucky game.

Cunningham's return means UofL will have one of the best offensive weapons in the ACC next year. Only four players had more total yards than Cunningham this season and three of them - Kenny Pickett (Pitt), Sam Howell (North Carolina) and Sam Hartman (Wake Forest) - are expected to leave.

The Cards also return most of their other playmakers, as well as the majority of their offensive lines.

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