Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer defensive tackle and University of Florida All-American Brad Culpepper is a successful Tampa attorney these days with the Culpepper Kurland firm. He is also prominent among the Gator alumni that UF head football coach Urban Meyer reached out to when he took over the program before the 2005 season.
As a result, Culpepper and Meyer have become fast friends, and Culpepper has been invited to watch practices and games and to formally speak to the players. In fact, he talked to them three times last season.
Culpepper says he’s been impressed with Meyer’s sense of player accountability, discipline and emphasis on “chemistry.”
“Guys buy into it because he’s successful,” assesses Culpepper. There’s also a tangible aura of respect, underscores Culpepper. “No jack-assing around in the meeting room,” he notes. And he saw evidence of that first-hand last year when he spoke to the team before the LSU and FSU games.
Recently he gave the young Gators a pre-season “Pep” talk. As a former player, he has their respect; as an attorney he has their back; and as a gifted, often humor-laced communicator — who is equally at ease in front of blue bloods as black brothers — he definitely has their attention. A sampling:
Dog fighting: “Don’t do it.”
Steroids: “Don’t use ’em.”
Weapons: “Don’t have ’em.”
Weed: “Be careful.”
He’ll be back.