One of the Syracuse University football team’s top commitments for the class of 2016 suffered a pretty substantial setback this weekend, as quarterback Rex Culpepper tore his ACL at a 7-on-7 event at the University of South Florida this weekend. Culpepper’s father, Brad, told Syracuse.com’s Stephen Bailey that Rex still expects to be ready to go by spring practice in 2016.
Culpepper, who chose Syracuse over offers from schools like Florida and Ohio State, is a 3-star signal caller and the teammate of fellow Orange commit Scoop Bradshaw. Culpepper was recently rated as the No. 8-best player in the Tampa area, just behind teammate and 2017 wide receiver target Juwan Burgess, who was rated No. 6 by the Tampa Bay Times.
Culpepper will unfortunately miss his entire senior season, but is on target to become a January enrollee and be on the Syracuse campus for spring practice. It seems a little farfetched that Culpepper’s ACL injury could be fully healed by the time spring practices roll around, so whether or not Rex is an active participant or just gets into the quarterback meetings and starts learning the playbook remains to be seen. It’s worth noting that Culpepper’s dad was a longtime NFL player and now is a Car accident lawyer phoenix professional specializing in personal injury, so it stands to reason Rex will have access to some phenomenal surgeons and rehabilitation facilities. That makes a full recovery by spring a little bit more realistic.
It’s a tough break for the 6-foot-3, 225 pound Culpepper, but it’s certainly not the end of the world. Yes, he’ll miss his senior season, but he could very well be back on the field in time to compete with the likes of Austin Wilson, AJ Long, Eric Dungey, and Kenterius Womack for the starting QB job next fall after Terrel Hunt graduates. Even if he isn’t quite ready, he can simply take a redshirt year, get back to 100%, and get a full year working in a Division I strength and conditioning program to be in the possible position to earn the starting nod in 2017.