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May 25, 2006

Culliver's big day

CLEMSON, S.C. - If no one knew about Garner (N.C.) safety Chris Culliver before the NIKE Training Camp this past weekend at Clemson University, they do now. The camp was the stage that the N.C. State commit needed to show the country just what kind of prospect he is. Culliver spoke with Rivals.com after the camp about his experience.

The talented 6-foot-1, 190-pound North Carolina State commit was not one of the nation's most highly talked about players going into the weekend, but he is now. Culliver's great day has also opened the doors up for several schools to enter the mix as well and make the race full of even more competition.

"I'm just looking around to find what's best for me," Culliver said after the camp. "It was exciting out here. I wanted to come out here and improve my ranking. I think I ran the fastest 40-yard dash time with a 4.37 and I opened some eyes.

He certainly did.

Culliver was one of the biggest surprises so far after the many talented NIKE camps. However, new schools are popping up on the radar and the talented young man is listening.

"Clemson has offered me and Virginia Tech is in there too," Culliver said. "I'm looking forward to hearing what they have to say and everything. I'm still committed to N.C. State, but I want to see what everybody has to offer me like playing time and how I'd fit in."

Nonetheless, the reasons for originally committing to the in-state program hold true today.

"It's everything about the place I like," Culliver said. "I talk with coach Todd Stroud early on and he gave me an offer. I took an unofficial visit there a while ago and the facilities, the coaches, everything was just great. As far as feeling like home and being in North Carolina, I just knew it was right from the jump."

As for his performance at the actual camp, the testing wasn't the only thing that Culliver excelled at. During one-on-ones with top prospects like Greg Little was when people quickly gathered and formed a crowd.

That's definitely something Culliver enjoyed as well.

"I saw Greg at the track meet the day before," he said. "I was actually kind of sore from that, but I got a chance to find out that he was coming. He's a good guy and we had some close match-ups."

Now, Culliver just wants things to continue to pick up.

"The coaches during the position drills were talking about me a lot," he said. "I just want that to keep going and it's nice to hear my name out of their mouth."


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