ESTES: How would you describe who you are as a person, away from football?
McCULLOCH: “I’m a real laid back type of guy. I like to be outside, enjoy nature and do things that will help me relieve the stress of the game, because this game can be very stressful. So I just like to kick back, relax and enjoy myself.”
ESTES: What do you enjoy outside of football?
McCULLOCH: “I’m an average basketball player. I play the guitar. I go fishing and hunting, and do things that take my mind away from the game.”
ESTES: What do you like to hunt?
McCULLOCH: "I hunt pretty much anything that comes onto the property. Deer, turkey, wild hogs, whatever we see.”
ESTES: What’s something about you that most people don’t know?
McCULLOCH: “I’m a big nerd at heart, but a good football player. I love education. I love math. I love being in the classroom. I love learning new things. That’s one of the main things, I love learning anything new.”
ESTES: Who is the most influential person in your life?
McCULLOCH: “My father. I’ve always had that drive. It has always been my nature to want to be the best, but he has helped me take it to a different level.
"With him being around my whole life and pushing me to do better, it gives me the motivation to be the best that I can be, beyond what I think I can be.”
ESTES: When did you first know you wanted to play football?
McCULLOCH: “I actually didn’t know I would end up playing football.
"I was always a basketball player and was taller than everyone. In eighth grade, I was 6-foot-1 and dunking on everybody. I really thought I was going to play basketball.
"Then all of the sudden, I get to high school, I stop growing and everybody else starts growing. They all started to dunk, so it pretty much made me think I would be a football player my sophomore year when I started getting offers.
ESTES: What was it like when you started getting offered?
McCULLOCH: “Actually, the spring when I started getting offers was when I was thinking I was done playing football. I really thought I was going to be a basketball player.
“I always envisioned myself being able to play football, I just never saw myself becoming the type of player I am now.”
ESTES: What positions have you played and what did you like best?
McCULLOCH: “I started out on the o-line. I played guard and some center, then I slimmed down a little bit and was moved to tackle. Then I slimmed down more and moved to tight end. Then I went to D-end and finally went to linebacker, and that’s where I was best. My favorite position was tight end.“
ESTES: How did you get the nickname “The Shark" ...?
MCCULLOCH: “A DB I played with my junior year gave me the nickname while watching film one day.
"I actually hated it. It was supposed to be a joke but then it stuck with me. It just grasped on from there."
ESTES: Do you still hate it or has it grown on you?
McCULLOCH: "Oh, I love it now.”
ESTES: It’s obvious Charlie Strong is not afraid to start true freshmen. What have the coaches said of your chances for playing time this season?
McCULLOCH: “They have told me there’s a chance to play. As long as I come in and work hard, then I could see playing time”
ESTES: What guy outside of the 2016 class are you closest with?
“Oh my boy Malik. We are so similar yet so different at the same time, we just click together.
"I would say I’m closest to DeShon, Malik and Charles. Charles is one of the funniest people alive. DeShon is just really laid back and chill.”