Ladies and gentlemen, Judge Culpepper!
Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 256 pounds
Hometown: Tampa, FL (Plant H.S.)
Recruited by: Ricky Rahne and Sean Spencer
Starz ‘n Sheetz
Ranking: 4-star on Rivals, 3-star on 247, Scout, and ESPN
Notable Offers: Alabama, Florida, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, and Notre Dame
Penn State offered the excellently named Judge Culpepper in January, and he first made a visit in April. Still, it seemed that home state Florida was in the driver’s seat - his father Brad played for Steve Spurrier and the Gators from 1988 to 1991, where he was a first-team All-American, before going on to the NFL for 9 years.
It was just recently announced, however, that Judge would be in attendance at Penn State’s Lasch Bash, and the crystal balls began to pour in. It didn’t take long for Culpepper to pull the trigger once on campus, becoming the first defensive tackle commit for James Franklin in the class of 2018.
Under Franklin, defensive tackle recruiting has been somewhat hit-or-miss, as several true DT prospects have chosen to play elsewhere. That, coupled with the fact that this staff values athleticism, has led to several “tweener” defensive linemen that can play either inside or outside. Not so in this case, as Judge is projected to the interior of the line all the way.
Culpepper already has a massive frame, standing at 6’4”, and will look to add on to his 256 pounds. Expect a red shirt year as he looks to bulk up under Dwight Galt’s tutelage, but his athleticism should lend him to the 1-Tech position nicely - as recently as this past season he has played both defensive end and tight end.
As far as defensive line recruiting goes, the staff is still heavily interested in PJ Mustipher going forward. Several other names are out there as well, including Tyler Friday and Aeneas Hawkins, but those two seem bound elsewhere. Expect Franklin and Co. to put on the full court press for Mustipher, and locking up the interior of the line for 2018.
Welcome to Penn State, Judge!