Grades won't deter Culpepper from signing

Demetrious Culpepper still has some work to take care of to become eligible, but he'll sign a national letter of intent Wednesday morning during a ceremony at Benjamin Russell High School in Alabama. has the latest.

Louisville commit Demetrious Culpepper will sign a national letter of intent Wednesday morning during a ceremony at Benjamin Russell High School in Alexander City, Alabama.

Though he still has some classwork to improve to become eligible to play for the Cardinals next year, Culpepper will officially become a member of Louisville's 2006 recruiting class Wednesday morning at approximately 8:15 AM.

"He's signing with Louisville (Wednesday) morning with hopes that he can make it up there next year," Russell High Coach Carl Martin said. "Louisville said they are sending the scholarship papers for him to sign."

Culpepper made an official visit to Louisville last weekend, and Martin said he really enjoyed the visit. One of Martin's former players, Jon Russell, was a starting safety for Louisville last season. Russell is also the school former Louisville great Nathan Poole attended.

"We have a Louisville connection," Martin said. "Demetriuos was really excited about his trip there last weekend. He really liked everything about it."

Since verbally committing to the Cardinals last week, Martin said Arkansas, Clemson and Southern Miss have really turned the heat up on Culpepper.

Now all that stands in the way of Culpepper playing for Louisville next season are academic issues. Martin said Culpepper scored a 17 or 18 on the ACT. Apparently, Culpepper needs to boost his core GPA.

"It's not impossible," Martin said. "He has to finish his work here, but he's doing what he's supposed to do."

While Martin sounded confident that Culpepper could get eligible, his Guidance Councilor, Sherry Pritchard, sounded more doubtful than hopeful.

"He's probably going to have to go to junior college for a year," Pritchard said. "He still could do some things to get eligible, but it's a long shot. He could still get qualified to go to Louisville next year, but it's very iffy at this point."

Culpepper verbally committed to Louisville last week after meeting with assistant Joe Whitt, the Cardinals recruiting coordinator.

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