Brad Culpepper

American football player (born 1969)

American football player
Brad Culpepper
No. 77, 73, 76
Position:Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born: (1969-05-08) May 8, 1969 (age 55)
Tallahassee, Florida, U.S.
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:280 lb (127 kg)
Career information
High school:Tallahassee (FL) Leon
NFL draft:1992 / Round: 10 / Pick: 264
Career history
  • Minnesota Vikings (1992–1993)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1994–1999)
  • Chicago Bears (2000)
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:131
Games started:83
Forced fumbles:6
Player stats at PFR

John Broward "Brad" Culpepper (born May 8, 1969) is an American former professional football player who was a defensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL) for nine seasons during the 1990s and early 2000s. Culpepper was as an All-American when he played college football for the Florida Gators. Selected late in the tenth round of the 1992 NFL Draft, he became a consistent starter for the Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Chicago Bears.

Culpepper is also known for appearing on two seasons of the U.S. reality television show Survivor, appearing on Survivor: Blood vs. Water and Survivor: Game Changers.

Early life

Culpepper was born in Tallahassee, Florida in 1969.[1] He attended Leon High School in Tallahassee,[2] where he was a standout prep player for the Leon Lions high school football team.[citation needed]

Culpepper was born into a family of University of Florida alumni.[3] His father, Bruce Culpepper, was a center for the Gators football team from 1960 to 1962 and co-captain of their 1962 Gator Bowl team, and became a prominent Tallahassee attorney.[3] His uncle, Blair Culpepper, was a Gators fullback in 1957 and 1958, and became a bank president in Winter Park, Florida.[3] His grandfather, J. Broward Culpepper, was also a Florida graduate and served as the chancellor of the State University System of Florida.[4]

College career

Culpepper accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for coach Galen Hall and coach Steve Spurrier's Gators teams from 1988 to 1991.[5] During his senior season in 1991, Culpepper was a standout defensive tackle and team captain on the Gators' Southeastern Conference (SEC) championship team, a first-team All-SEC selection and a consensus first-team All-American.[5][6] He finished his college career with eighteen quarterback sacks and 47.5 tackles for a loss.[5] He was also named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll all four years, was a first-team Academic All-American, and received the Draddy Trophy recognizing him as college football's most outstanding student-athlete.[5][7] While Culpepper was a Florida undergraduate, he was also an active member of Sigma Chi Fraternity (Gamma Theta Chapter).[citation needed]

Culpepper graduated from Florida with his bachelor's degree in history after his junior year, and enrolled in a master's degree program in exercise and sports sciences during his senior football season. After finishing his professional playing career, Culpepper returned to graduate school and law school full-time, and earned his master's degree and J.D. degree from Florida in 2001. He was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in 2001.[8][9] The sports editors of The Gainesville Sun ranked him as the No. 47 all-time greatest player of the first 100 seasons of the Florida Gators football team in 2006.[10]

Professional career

Culpepper was a tenth round selection (264th overall pick) in the 1992 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings,[11] and he played for the Vikings from 1992 to 1993,[12] the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1994 to 1999,[13] and the Chicago Bears in 2000.[14] In his nine-year professional career, Culpepper played in 131 games, started 83 of them,[1] and recorded 34 quarterback sacks and one safety.[15]

Life after football

Culpepper is now a trial lawyer for the Culpepper Kurland law firm in Tampa, Florida.[16] Since his retirement, he has spoken out about his concerns regarding the increasing size of NFL players; he believes that the increasing number of 300-pound (140 kg) players is "unnatural and unsafe" and has led to many serious health problems. During his football career, Culpepper inflated his weight to 280 pounds (130 kg); after he retired from professional football, he lost almost 100 pounds (45 kg).[17]


Blood vs. Water

Prior to his appearances, Culpepper's wife Monica was selected as a participant for the 24th season of the CBS reality television show Survivor.[18]

Monica and Brad participated together in the show's 27th season, Survivor: Blood vs. Water.[19] Culpepper was the sixth person eliminated from the game and came in 15th place while Monica was the season's runner-up.

On May 6, 2015, it was revealed that Culpepper was one of 16 former male players eligible to be voted onto Survivor's 31st season, Survivor: Cambodia. However, he was not voted onto it.[20]

Game Changers

On February 8, 2017, Culpepper was revealed to be one of the contestants competing in Survivor: Game Changers, the show's 34th season, which began airing in March 2017. Throughout Culpepper's second season, he played relatively consistently, and stayed loyal to his alliances, despite being in the minority for the most part. However, at his endgame, he won five individual immunity challenges; a feat shared only by a few other elite Survivor players, which propelled him to the Final Three with Sarah Lacina and "Troyzan" Robertson. Although Culpepper played a solid social game and was a prominent threat, he became very arrogant and made some remarks toward fellow tribe mate Tai Trang that other players perceived as condescending in the last few days. Fellow tribemate Aubry Bracco in her jury speaks video controversially said she had hesitations about voting for Brad to win because of his "racist and sexist tendencies". At the Final Tribal Council, Lacina's skillful strategic and social gameplay was preferred by the jury over Culpepper's physical dominance, and she was awarded the title of "Sole Survivor" in a 7–3–0 vote. Culpepper received three votes, making him the runner-up.

Personal life

In 1990, Culpepper met Monica Frakes when he was a sophomore at the University of Florida.[21] The couple married weeks after Culpepper was drafted into the NFL in 1992.[22] The couple have three children together.[18] Their oldest son, Rex, was a quarterback at Syracuse University, and their other son, Judge, is a defensive lineman at the University of Toledo.[23][24]

He and his wife, Monica, are the only Survivor couple to both be runners-up in separate seasons. Coincidentally, they both achieved this feat in their second time playing the game, Monica in Survivor: Blood vs. Water and Brad in Survivor: Game Changers.[25][circular reference][26][circular reference] This is similar to another Survivor couple, Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich, who are the only couple to both have won Survivor, Amber in Survivor: All-Stars and Rob in Survivor: Redemption Island.[27][circular reference][28][circular reference][29][circular reference][30][circular reference]

See also

  • iconAmerican football portal
  • Biography portal
  • iconCollege football portal
  • iconTelevision portal
  • flagUnited States portal


  1. ^ a b, Players, Brad Culpepper. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  2. ^, Players, Brad Culpepper Archived September 20, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c Jack Hairston, Tales from the Gator Swamp, Sports Publishing, LLC, Champaign, Illinois, pp. 29–31 (2002).
  4. ^ University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries, Guide to the J. Broward Culpepper Papers. Retrieved April 27, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide Archived April 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 88, 93, 97, 98, 100, 124, 153, 180 (2011). Retrieved August 28, 2011.
  6. ^ 2012 NCAA Football Records Book, Award Winners, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Indianapolis, Indiana, pp. 9 & 14 (2012). Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  7. ^ "Another day, another honor for Culpepper," The Gainesville Sun, p. 7C (December 12, 1991). Retrieved January 17, 2013.
  8. ^ F Club, Hall of Fame, Gator Greats. Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  9. ^ "Nine Former Gators Enshrined into the Hall of Fame Archived 2012-10-04 at the Wayback Machine," (April 6, 2001). Retrieved July 21, 2011.
  10. ^ Robbie Andreu & Pat Dooley, "No. 47 Brad Culpepper," The Gainesville Sun (July 18, 2006). Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  11. ^ "1992 NFL Draft Listing". Retrieved May 7, 2023.
  12. ^ Minnesota Vikings, History, Alumni[permanent dead link]. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  13. ^ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, History, All-Time Roster Archived September 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  14. ^ Chicago Bears, History, All-Time Jersey Numbers Archived March 31, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  15. ^ National Football League, Historical Players, Brad Culpepper. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  16. ^ Culpepper Kurland, PLLC, Attorneys, Brad Culpepper Archived May 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  17. ^ Mike Bianchi, "Tell it like it is: These guys are too fat," Orlando Sentinel (August 5, 2003). Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  18. ^ a b Deggans, Eric (January 19, 2012). "Ex-NFL star Brad Culpepper on wife Monica competing on Survivor: 'This is her opportunity to shine'". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on February 17, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  19. ^ Andy Dehnart (May 13, 2013). "Survivor Blood vs. Water cast includes Big Brother winner, former NFL player". Retrieved September 24, 2014.
  20. ^ Survivor: Cambodia—Second Chance cast (and logo) revealed Entertainment Weekly, Retrieved May 21, 2015
  21. ^ Shelton, Gary (March 7, 2009). "Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and Florida Gator Brad Culpepper recalls his lost in the gulf tale". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on November 7, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  22. ^ Andreu, Robbie (April 26, 2007). "Memories of draft day". The Gainesville Sun. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  23. ^ Pilatzke, Brian (January 20, 2016). "Syracuse Football Recruiting: Culpepper, Neal & Ruff Arrive on Campus". Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  24. ^ "Judge Culpepper". U.T. Rockets. Retrieved January 13, 2023.
  25. ^ Survivor: Blood vs. Water
  26. ^ Survivor: Game Changers
  27. ^ Amber Mariano
  28. ^ Rob Mariano
  29. ^ Survivor: All-Stars
  30. ^ Survivor: Redemption Island


  • Carlson, Norm, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2007). ISBN 0-7948-2298-3.
  • Golenbock, Peter, Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends Publishing, LLC, St. Petersburg, Florida (2002). ISBN 0-9650782-1-3.
  • Hairston, Jack, Tales from the Gator Swamp: A Collection of the Greatest Gator Stories Ever Told, Sports Publishing, LLC, Champaign, Illinois (2002). ISBN 1-58261-514-4.
  • McCarthy, Kevin M., Fightin' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football, Arcadia Publishing, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (2000). ISBN 978-0-7385-0559-6.
  • Nash, Noel, ed., The Gainesville Sun Presents The Greatest Moments in Florida Gators Football, Sports Publishing, Inc., Champaign, Illinois (1998). ISBN 1-57167-196-X.
Preceded by
Ken McNickle
Runner-Up of Survivor
Survivor: Game Changers
Succeeded by
Chrissy Hofbeck
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