Jacksonville Sports Day

Q&A with Former Gator, NFL Player Brad Culpepper

Fourth in a series of Q&A sessions with former winners of the Campbell Trophy.

Brad Culpepper produced a record setting four years as a defensive tackle at Florida from 1988-91, earning consensus First-Team All-American honors his senior season and captaining the Gators to their first SEC Championship.

His career statistics include 227 tackles, 47.5 tackles for a loss and 18 quarterback sacks. Off the field, he made the SEC Academic Honor Roll four times.

Selected in the 10th round of the 1992 Draft, Culpepper played nine season in the NFL with the Vikings, Buccaneers and Bears. During the NFL offseason, he earned both a master’s degree in sports administration and his law degree from Florida. He currently practices law in Florida.

What was special about playing in the SEC and what was the most memorable game of your college career?

Every conference game had so much riding on it; you really had no cupcakes. While I went 3-0 vs. Alabama in my career, we lost to Vandy once. However the most memorable game for me was beating FSU 14-9 in 1991. They had won four-straight against us leading up to this game. Their offense was tops in the nation, and we shut them down for what had to be the hottest last game of the season in the Swamp. Finally winning vs. my hometown team on my last game at UF was dream like… and beating up on their QB Casey Weldon was the icing.

You are part of a family legacy that includes Gator football and practicing law. What does it mean to you to carry on those traditions?

My father, Bruce, was captain of the 1962 team, and I was captain of the 1991 team. We may be the only two Gators that share this bond. It is quite special, even more so that I am able to work with my father every day at my law firm.

As a former college football player, what do you think about the NCAA’s NIL plans? As a practicing attorney, do you think the NCAA got the guidelines right?

I’m all for the players getting as much as they can. Football is a harsh and brutal sport, and the shelf life is rather short. The coaches and universities make a mint; the [athletes] should be able to benefit.

Did your football background help you during your appearances on Survivor? Why did you want to compete on the show?

Understanding and being a part of a football locker room gives a great understanding of people from all walks of life; this is a tremendous asset for Survivor. As for the difficulties of living off the land and competing for 39 days, two-a-days in the Florida heat had me well prepared. As long as we are all walking in mud, I can walk the longest.

The Williams V. Campbell Trophy Trophy

Click here for more information on The William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda, which has been presented every year since 1990 to the nation’s top scholar-athlete from the college gridiron. In 2019, Mazda became the sponsor of the Trophy, launching their Power of Potential Platform with ESPN. The trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association, which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football.

Today’s Q&A represents the fourth in a series of Q&A sessions with former winners of the Campbell Trophy.

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