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Dressed in a Missouri T-shirt and hat, Indian Rocks Christian’s Sean Culkin took the mystery out of his signing day Wednesday morning. Culkin stuck with the Tigers despite a late offer from Miami. He signed his letter of intent in front of students and staff at the school’s chapel.
Culkin was flanked by his parents, Chuck and Sherry, as well as IRC coaches Mark Buchanan and Jerry Wunsch.
"The SEC was a factor, but I really fell in love with the school when I made my visit,’’ Culkin said. "The campus is beautiful. I knew it was the place for me.’’
Culkin was a four year member of the football team, but his main focus until this year was basketball. It wasn’t until the summer, with some urging from former Buccaneer lineman Wunsch, that Culkin decided to take football seriously.
He attended numerous summer camps and caught the eye of college coaches.
"The first time I saw him he was a freshman playing quarterback,’’ Wunsch said. "I walked up to him and said, "What are you doing? You’re in the wrong position.’ I told him that if he concentrated on being a tight end, he could be a Division I prospect. No doubt. It’s all on him and he worked his butt off to get here.
"It's my belief that he's one of the best tight ends in the country. I've played with first round draft picks and Sean's got all that talent. He can be that kind of football player. And he's going to a great University.''
Culkin has attended Indian Rocks Christian since preschool. He is the first IRC football player to sign with a Division I school. He plans to begin classes at Missouri in June.
"It seems like I’ve been here for a long time, but these last few years have gone by fast,’’ Culkin said. "I can’t wait to get up there and get started.’’