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Plant alumnus Judge Culpepper growing at Penn State before Cotton Bowl

The two-time Plant High captain made his college debut for the Nittany Lions earlier this season.
 
Penn State defensive lineman Judge Culpepper sits during media day before the Cotton Bowl. (MATT BAKER | TIMES)
Penn State defensive lineman Judge Culpepper sits during media day before the Cotton Bowl. (MATT BAKER | TIMES) [ Matt Baker | Times ]
Published Dec. 26, 2019

ARLINGTON, Texas — Plant High alumnus Judge Culpepper hasn’t yet made an enormous impact at Penn State.

But the 6-foot-4, 284-pound redshirt freshman defensive tackle has made plenty of behind-the-scenes strides for the Nittany Lions.

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“It’s been a great experience,” Culpepper said Thursday during Cotton Bowl media day at AT&T Stadium. “I’ve gotten a lot of good reps. Just learning, being a part of the travel squad defense and just taking advantage of every rep I got. I feel like I’ve gotten better throughout the season.

“We’re going to use it as a stepping stone to keep moving forward, keep building.”

His No. 13 Nittany Lions are trying to do the same, after another 10-win season that ends Saturday against No. 15 Memphis.

Culpepper — a three-star recruit and two-time captain at Plant — has appeared in every game so far, mostly on special teams. But he feels as if has improved in his run fits and pass-rushing tools that will help him boost Penn State to another level during the rest of his career. He even had his first big highlight earlier this season with half a sack against Rutgers.

“I can just use that as motivation for next year to keep doing good things,” Culpepper said.