Defensive End Likes Three

This standout defensive end talks recruiting and his team's run in the playoffs.

Alexander City, Ala.-–A player that is receiving more and more interest as the 2005 high school football season unfolds is 6-4, 220 defensive end Demetrius Culpepper from Benjamin Russell High. One of the most physical players in the South at his position, Culpepper says that he's hearing from schools all over the region.

"I'm hearing from Louisville and Clemson mainly," Culpepper tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I have offers from both of them, Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia and I'm talking with Southern Miss. I have a visit scheduled for Louisville on Dec. 10."

While his list is filled with good football programs, there are three schools that have risen to the top for Culpepper. While all three are in the running, one school has an advantage in the race because of where they are located and two players currently on the team.

"My favorites are Auburn, Tennessee and Louisville," Culpepper says. "Auburn is close to home. I grew up in an Auburn family. Marquies Gunn goes to school down there and he's from Benjamin Russell. Eric Brock is from Benjamin Russell too.

"I talk to Marquies Gunn all the time," he adds. "He's my real close friend. When I was in the ninth grade he was a senior and played defensive end. When I came up he would stay after practice and show us the ropes. I'm real close to him. That's who I pattern my game after. I'm just like him."

Culpepper is a player that should get much bigger and stronger on the next level.

A three-year starter for the Wildcats, Culpepper is one of the catalysts for a defense that has been solid this season in helping Benjamin Russell into the second round of the Class 5A playoffs. This weekend they take on the undefeated Eufaula Tigers at the Sportsplex in Alexander City. He says the game will be a tough one just like last week's 7-6 win over Jess Lanier on the road.

"We expect to have a crowd," Culpepper says. "When you're in our area and in the playoffs you expect a good crowd. The first playoff game was hard. It was a struggle because they put up some points early and could never come back. Our defense was on the field the whole time, but we kept playing and forced four turnovers."

No matter where the road takes Culpepper and the Wildcats in the coming weeks there is one thing that he has his eyes set on outside of Friday night. That is a trip planned for next Saturday, one where he gets a chance to visit with several old friends once again and watch what could be the game of the year in the Southeastern Conference.

"The only game I've gone to is the Auburn game against Ball State," Culpepper says. "I plan on going to the Iron Bowl. I'm looking forward to it. I'm definitely going to the Iron Bowl."

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