Daniel McCullers

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Daniel McCullers
No. 62 Pittsburgh Steelers
Position: Nose tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1992-08-11) August 11, 1992 (age 22)
Place of birth: Raleigh, North Carolina
Height: 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Weight: 352 lb (160 kg)
Career information
High school: Raleigh (NC) Southeast
College: Tennessee
NFL draft: 2014 / Round: 6 / Pick: 215
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2014
Tackles: 2
Quarterback sacks: 0
Forced fumbles: 0
Stats at NFL.com

Daniel McCullers (born August 11, 1992) is an American football nose tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Steelers in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played college football at Tennessee.

Early years[edit]

McCullers was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, the son of Marcus Sanders and Phyllis McCullers. He has an older sister, Deonica, and a younger sister, Dakita. His parents had frequent run-ins with the law, and he and his sisters spent much their childhood with their grandparents.[1]

McCullers played high school football at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School under Coach Daniel Flinn and defensive coordinator Marvin Burke.[1] He recorded 55 tackles and four sacks during his junior year in 2008, and was an all-conference selection. He followed this up with 29 tackles and five sacks during his senior year in 2009, in which he helped Southeast Raleigh to a 10-3 record.[2] He was selected to the all-state second team following his senior season.[2]

College career[edit]

Lacking the grades to enroll at a Division I school, McCullers played his freshman and sophomore seasons at Georgia Military College.[3] During his freshman year in 2010, he picked up 27 tackles, including four tackles-for-loss, and one forced fumble. In 2011, during his sophomore year, he recorded 37 tackles, including nine tackles-for-loss and two sacks, as part of a defense that held opponents to just 261 yards per game.[2] He was ranked a 4-star recruit by Rivals, and the number one junior college prospect at defensive tackle.[2]

McCullers committed to Tennessee in January 2012, in part because the team was transitioning to a 3-4 defense, with which McCullers was more familiar.[4] He finished the 2012 season with 39 tackles (20 solo), including a sack and 5.5 tackles-for-loss, to go along with a forced fumble and a pass broken-up.[2] He recorded eight tackles and blocked a PAT in Tennessee's loss against Georgia, and registered eight tackles in the Vols' loss to South Carolina.[2]

After Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley was fired late in the 2012 season, there was speculation that McCullers would forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft. He decided to return for his senior year, however, even though the Vols' new head coach, Butch Jones, was planning to install a 4-3 defense.[5] Recognizing the importance of McCullers making a successful transition to the new scheme, Jones stated prior to the 2013 season, "We'll be as good as Dan McCullers goes."[6] He was named to the Athlon Sports Preseason Third Team All-SEC, and Phil Steele's Preseason Fourth Team All-American and Preseason First Team All-SEC.[2] He finished the season with 33 tackles (21 solo), including 4.5 tackles-for-loss. He recorded six tackles in Tennessee's upset of South Carolina, including a sack that knocked quarterback Connor Shaw out of the game.[2] He also blocked the second PAT of his career in the Vols' loss to Auburn.[2] He appeared in the 2014 Senior Bowl.[2]

While at Tennessee, McCullers received frequent attention for his enormous size. He was the subject of a USA Today feature in September 2012,[3] and a photograph of McCullers towering over a UT trainer was widely circulated on the web.[7] He acquired numerous nicknames, such as "Mount McCullers", "Shade Tree" McCullers , "Big Dan," "Green Mile,"—after Michael Clarke Duncan's role in the 1999 film The Green Mile— and "Man Mountain."[7][8]

Professional career[edit]

2014 NFL Draft[edit]

In February 2014, McCullers was one of five Tennessee players invited to participate in the 2014 NFL Combine.[9] Weighing in at 352 lb (160 kg), McCullers was the heaviest player at an NFL Combine since Terrence Cody in 2010.

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 7 in 352 lb 36 58 in 11 in 20 12 in 8 ft 1 in 27 reps
All values from NFL Combine[10]

At Tennessee's NFL Pro Day on April 2, 2014, McCullers registered a best of 5.32 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 7.75 seconds in the 3-cone drill, and 5.14 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle. He also managed 27 repetitions in the 225-pound bench press.[11] Mike Mayock, a draft analyst for the NFL Network, listed McCullers as one of the top five defensive tackle prospects in the draft.[11] McCullers was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft. [12]

Pittsburgh Steelers[edit]

McCullers signed a four-year contract with the Steelers on May 19, 2014.[13] He made his NFL debut in the Steelers' win over Houston on October 20, 2014.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Robert Klemko, "Big Dan Gets His Chance," SI.com, 20 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Tennessee Profile". utsports.com. 
  3. ^ a b Dan Wolken, "Daniel McCullers: Tennessee's Big Man On Campus," USA Today, 12 September 2012.
  4. ^ Joel Barker, "Tennessee Football Recruiting: Meet Daniel McCullers, the Vols' Flagship Recruit," Bleacher Report, 16 January 2012.
  5. ^ Daniel Lewis, "Massive Defensive Lineman McCullers Returning for Senior Season," Nooga.com, 2 January 2013.
  6. ^ Dave Martin, "Tennessee's Daniel McCullers Following Terrance Cody's Lead," NFL.com, 3 August 2013.
  7. ^ a b Adam Kramer, "The Biggest Thing in College Football? Literally, Tennessee's Daniel McCullers," Bleacher Report, 21 May 2013.
  8. ^ Trey Williams, "Massive McCullers Makes His Presence Felt," Johnson City Press, 13 August 2012.
  9. ^ Larry Fleming, "Five Ex-Tennessee Players Earn Invites to NFL Combine," The Chattanoogan, 7 February 2014.
  10. ^ http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/daniel-mccullers?id=2543754
  11. ^ a b "Vols Hold NFL Pro Day," UTSports.com, 2 April 2014.
  12. ^ "Pittsburgh Steelers Select Tennessee Nose Tackle Daniel McCullers in the Sixth Round of the NFL Draft". 
  13. ^ Dustin Hockensmith, "Pittsburgh Steelers Sign Draft Picks Daniel McCullers, Rob Blanchflower to Four-Year Deals," Penn Live, 19 May 2014.
  14. ^ Scott Brown, "Steelers' Martavis Bryant, Daniel McCullers Suit Up for First NFL Game," ESPN.com, 20 October 2014.

External links[edit]