T.J. is a quick learner who had never played organized football until he reached the high school level. "I just started playing in ninth grade and it just came naturally to me," said McCullough. "By my sophomore year they decided to move me up to varsity."
T.J. chose the Cyclones over offers from Rutgers, Central Florida, Florida Atlantic, and Florida International after first getting looked at by Iowa State this past spring. "Coach Wally Burnham came out to see me play and we really hit it off and he told me that he liked how I was always around the ball and that he thought my speed and potential were impressive," said McCullough.
"They offered me a few weeks later and not long after I told them that I would likely commit but it wasn't until recently that I decided to formally commit to Iowa State."
McCullough did that by having a great talk with Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads. "He was real excited and told me that he was so glad to have me be a part of the program," he said. "I told me that he liked how I get to the ball and that he really wanted me to be a Cyclone and that I had amazing potential."
"I just really like Coach Rhoads because he is down to earth and not too cocky," said McCullough. "When I talked with him I felt like I had already known him for a long time. I really liked that he told me he was going to push me to get a degree and that even though I had a chance to make it to the league if I worked hard that school was just so important because you have to be prepared for life after football."