The most experienced among a group of young, talented tight ends who solidified himself as a good pass-catching/run blocking combination last season … Will look to continue to hone those skills as a junior with a likely bigger role in the offense … Enters the year at No. 1 on the depth chart.
Emerged as the Tigers’ top tight end in his sophomore season … Caught 20 passes for 174 yards (8.7 per catch) and a TD … Season-high four catches came on two occasions – vs. Indiana (four catches for 45 yards with a TD) and against Kentucky (four catches for 30 yards) … Hauled in three passes against Arkansas (Nov. 28), spanning 25 yards … Caught one pass in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl.
Tallied one reception for six yards in the team’s season-opening win against Murray State (Aug. 31) … appeared in every game of his initial season in the Black & Gold, primarily contributing on special teams.
Redshirt season … was likely well on his way to earning playing time as a true freshman, as he was putting together a very impressive fall camp, until he was sidetracked with a broken finger midway through two-a-days … could have played the last half of the season, but the decision was made to preserve the redshirt in the end.
Rivals ranked him as the nation’s No. 24 tight end prospect, as well as the No. 62 overall prospect at any position out of the state of Florida for 2012 … caught 55 passes for 981 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior in a breakout season that saw him earn 1st-Team All-State honors as well as team MVP honors … was also named a U.S. Air Force 1st-Team All-American after his productive senior season … earned All-County recognition as a junior, when he caught 28 passes for 547 yards and eight touchdowns … high school coach – Mark Buchanan.
Parents – Chuck & Sherry Culkin … lists hobbies outside of football as boating, fishing, playing guitar, playing piano and basketball … played several years of AAU basketball, and played on Amare Stoudemire’s team which placed 2nd in nationals one summer … was active in youth groups and has taken mission trips to Alabama, Nicaragua and El Salvador … chose Mizzou over Miami (Fla.), Central Florida, Kansas, Iowa State, South Florida, Rutgers, Ohio and Cincinnati, among others … mentioned the family-like atmosphere around the football program as a major selling point, as well as the program’s sustained success.