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Christopher LaBarren Culliver II (born August 17, 1988) is an American football cornerback who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He played college football at South Carolina.

Chris Culliver
refer to caption
Culliver signing an autograph in 2009 while with South Carolina
Free agent
Personal information
Born: (1988-08-17) August 17, 1988 (age 31)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:199 lb (90 kg)
Career information
High school:Garner (Garner, North Carolina)
College:South Carolina
NFL Draft:2011 / Round: 3 / Pick: 80
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • Second-team All-SEC (2009)
Career NFL statistics as of 2017
Total tackles:143
Forced fumbles:3
Fumble recoveries:2
Pass deflections:37
Defensive touchdowns:1
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Early lifeEdit

Culliver had a difficult start in life. His mother, although she would eventually graduate from Temple University, was single and only 16 years old when he was born. Culliver has a brother four years his junior and twin siblings, a boy and a girl, who are eleven years younger. In 1996, Culliver's stepfather and a cousin were shot to death, and his mother was wounded, in a Philadelphia bar fight.[1]

Culliver graduated from Garner Magnet High School of Garner, North Carolina in 2007.[2] He did not play football until his sophomore year. He produced 127 tackles, seven sacks, and two interceptions as a junior. In his senior year, he was credited with 147 tackles and four interceptions, and, although he started only a handful of games on offense, he logged 1,500 all-purpose yards and returned four kickoffs and two punts for touchdowns. He accounted for over 270 tackles in his final two seasons at Garner. He was the MVP for the East squad in the Offense-Defense All-Star Game after catching three passes for 97 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown reception. He also played in the Shrine Bowl.[3]

Also a standout track & field athlete, Culliver was an elite sprinter. He posted a personal-best time of 10.69 seconds in the 100-meter dash at the 2007 USATF Jr. Olympic Championship, where he placed second in the preliminary rounds.[4] He took second in the 55-meter dash at the 2007 4A NCHSAA Indoor State Championship at 6.45,[5] but posted a PR of 6.08 seconds at the Clayton HS Last Chance Meet.[6]


Culliver was a five-star recruit by, and was the Gamecocks' first five-star signee since Demetris Summers in 2003. He was considered by as the top player in the state of North Carolina and the third-best wide receiver in the country. ranked him as the 19th-best prospect in the country regardless of position, making him USC's highest-rated recruit since Greenwood linebacker Ricardo Hurley was ranked No. 17 among the class of 2002. He was rated a four-star prospect and the No. 13 safety in the country by He was also rated the 37th-best defensive back in the nation and the seventh-best player in the state of North Carolina by SuperPrep. Culliver chose to attend the University of South Carolina over the University of Florida and North Carolina State University.

College careerEdit

At South Carolina, Culliver majored in sport and entertainment management and played on the South Carolina Gamecocks football team from 2007 to 2010.[7]

As a freshman in 2007, Culliver was a kickoff returner with 34 returns for 809 yards, the second most single-season kick return yards in school history. Culliver started one game as a wide receiver.[2]

Culliver became the starting free safety in addition to kick returner in 2008. With 12 starts, Culliver made 60 tackles, including 4.5 for losses, as well as three interceptions, three passes deflected, and two forced fumbles.[2]

In February 2009, Culliver almost died from complications following routine shoulder surgery.[1] Culliver returned for his junior season with 12 starts and was the team's third top tackler with 62 and returned 26 kickoffs for 585 yards. Culliver was a second-team All-SEC pick for 2009.[2]

Culliver became cornerback as a senior in 2010. Before a season-ending pectoral muscle injury, Culliver started 7 games and had 34 tackles (including 2.5 tackles for loss), 1 sack, a forced fumble, 2 passes deflected, and 12 kick returns for 261 yards.[8]

Professional careerEdit

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 0 in
(1.83 m)
199 lb
(90 kg)
4.36 s 1.50 s 2.49 s 4.08 s 6.88 s 38.5 in
(0.98 m)
10 ft 3 in
(3.12 m)
15 reps
All values from the NFL Combine,[9] except bench press from Pro Day.[10]

San Francisco 49ersEdit

Projected to be a third or fourth round,[10] Culliver was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft as the 80th overall pick.[11][12] As a rookie, Culliver played all 16 games of the regular season and finished with a total of 35 combined tackles, 7 pass defensed, and 1 interception for 23 yards.[13] Culliver also played both games of the postseason.[14]

In the 2012 season, Culliver was the 49ers' primary nickelback, and he had a key interception against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game.[15] San Francisco advanced to Super Bowl XLVII, but lost 34–31 to the Baltimore Ravens. Culliver had a tough game after being targeted often by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. He was beaten for a 56-yard touchdown catch by wide receiver Jacoby Jones and was also flagged for pass interference in the fourth quarter with it leading to Baltimore kicking a field goal to extend its lead to 34–29.[16][17]

Prior to the Super Bowl during Media Day, Culliver had some strong words for gay players in the NFL. Asked by comedian/radio host Artie Lange if there were any gay players on his team, Culliver stated, "No, we don't got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do.... Can't be with that sweet stuff. Nah…can't be…in the locker room man. Nah." He also opined that any gay players should wait 10 years after retiring before coming out.[18] Culliver later apologized for his "ugly comments" that were "not what I feel in my heart".[19][20][21] In a reversal, he said he would welcome a gay teammate: "I treat everyone equal."[19] He added that he loved San Francisco, which has a large gay community.[19]

In April 2013, he made offensive comments about women on Instagram. The 49ers stated the matter was "being handled internally."[22]

On August 1, 2013, Culliver tore his ACL in team drills at training camp with the 49ers. He would undergo surgery and would miss the entire 2013 season.[23] On August 27, 2013, the 49ers placed Culliver on injured reserve.[24]

On March 28, 2014, he was arrested for misdemeanor hit and run, misdemeanor driving on a suspended license, and felony possession of brass knuckles after allegedly hitting a bicyclist with his car.[25]

Washington RedskinsEdit

On March 13, 2015, Culliver signed a four-year contract with the Washington Redskins.[26] On September 14, he was suspended for one game for violating the personal conduct policy following misdemeanors that occurred in March 2014.[27] It was announced that Culliver tore his ACL and MCL during the team practice on November 26.[28] The following day, he was officially placed on injured reserve, ending his season.[29] On May 2, 2016, Culliver was released.[30]

Miami DolphinsEdit

On August 9, 2016, Culliver signed with the Miami Dolphins.[31] After starting the season on the physically unable to perform list, Culliver was added to the active roster on November 7, 2016.[32] He was released on November 19, 2016.[33]

Indianapolis ColtsEdit

On August 21, 2017, Culliver signed with the Indianapolis Colts.[34] He was placed on injured reserve on September 2, 2017.[35] He was released on October 9, 2017.[36]


  1. ^ a b Branch, Eric (September 23, 2012). "49ers: Chris Culliver's brush with death". Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d "Chris Culliver". South Carolina Gamecocks. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Chris Culliver Profile - South Carolina Official Athletic Site". Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  8. ^ "2012 49ers player bios: Chris Culliver" (PDF). pp. 37–39.
  9. ^ Combine player profiles: Chris Culliver, NFL, retrieved March 18, 2013
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^ "2011 NFL Draft Listing". Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  12. ^ Chris Culliver South Carolina DB the newest 49er
  13. ^ "Chris Culliver: Career Stats". NFL. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Chris Culliver issues apology". January 30, 2013. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  16. ^ Strauss, Chris (February 4, 2013). "49ers CB Chris Culliver's controversial Super Bowl week ends in misery". USA Today. Archived from the original on December 2, 2017. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  17. ^ Alper, Chris (February 4, 2013). "Chris Culliver had a 'tough one'". Archived from the original on February 6, 2013. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  18. ^ Rogers, Martin (April 18, 2012). "Report: Niners CB says openly gay players would not be welcomed on the team". Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  19. ^ a b c "Chris Culliver sorry for 'ugly' remarks". January 31, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  20. ^ Wesseling, Chris (January 30, 2013). "Chris Culliver apologizes for anti-gay comments". National Football League. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  21. ^ Breech, John (January 30, 2013). "49ers' Chris Culliver: Openly gay player not welcome". Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  22. ^
  23. ^ Schefter, Adam. "Source: Chris Culliver tears ACL". Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  24. ^ Inman, Cam (August 27, 2013). "49ers roster moves: Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham stay on PUP list". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  25. ^ Alexander, Curtis (March 29, 2014). "49ers' Culliver arrested on hit-run, brass-knuckle charges". Retrieved May 14, 2014.
  26. ^ Jones, Mike. "Redskins add cornerback Chris Culliver for much-needed secondary help". Washington Post. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  27. ^ Sessler, Marc. "Redskins' Chris Culliver suspended one game". Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  28. ^ Lewis, Edward (November 26, 2015). "Redskins' Chris Culliver tears ACL, MCL". Retrieved November 26, 2015.
  29. ^ Walker, Andrew (November 27, 2015). "Chris Culliver Tears ACL/MCL; Out For Season". Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  30. ^ Hanzus, Dan. "Chris Culliver released by Washington Redskins". Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  31. ^ Wesseling, Chris. "Miami Dolphins set to sign veteran CB Chris Culliver".
  32. ^ "Dolphins Make Roster Moves". November 7, 2016. Archived from the original on January 15, 2017.
  33. ^ Kelly, Omar (November 19, 2016). "Dolphins cut CB Chris Culliver; elevate center Jake Brendel from practice squad".
  34. ^ "Colts Sign Veteran Cornerbacks Chris Culliver, Corey White". August 21, 2017. Archived from the original on August 22, 2017. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  35. ^ Walker, Andrew (September 2, 2017). "Colts Announce Final 2017 Roster Cuts". Archived from the original on November 9, 2017.
  36. ^ "Chris Culliver: Parts ways with Colts". Retrieved December 7, 2017.

External linksEdit