Junior Major Culbert has been a versatile athlete who has seen action at multiple positions during his first two seasons in Lincoln. This spring, Culbert appeared to have found a home in the Husker secondary. The 6-0, 205-pound Culbert will enter fall camp listed as the top backup behind Larry Asante at strong safety.
Culbert saw action in the Nebraska secondary as a true freshman in 2006, but was also used at linebacker in special sets. He then shifted to I-back before the 2006 Cotton Bowl and remained at that position through the first half of 2007, before moving back into a reserve linebacker role during the second part of last season.
After impressing coaches during pre-bowl and spring workouts, Culbert began 2007 as a reserve I-back. He saw action at the spot against Nevada, rushing five times for 35 yards and a touchdown. The development of true freshmen runners Quentin Castille and Roy Helu Jr. allowed Culbert to move back to defense for the second half of the year.
He served as a reserve linebacker and made eight tackles in the season’s final five games, including a season-high four stops against Texas A&M. Culbert, who also played on Nebraska’s coverage teams, had a pair of tackles against Kansas.
Culbert played in 12 games, and finished with 12 total tackles. Much of his work came on NU special teams, including the punt block and kickoff coverage units. Culbert had one tackle each in six games, and played a key role in a win over Missouri. Against the Tigers’ spread attack, Culbert played at linebacker in Nebraska’s 3-4 defensive package. He was up to the challenge, recording six tackles, including four solo stops, in a 34-20 NU victory. Culbert partially blocked a punt in the first quarter against Colorado, setting up NU with great field position, and the Huskers converted for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
Culbert then showed his all-around ability during bowl practice when he was asked to switch to the I-back position because of injuries.
Before Nebraska (Narbonne HS)
Culbert had a standout prep career at Narbonne High School in California, where he amassed more than 4,000 rushing yards and scored 37 touchdowns during his career. He rushed for 1,955 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior, while adding 10 receptions for 123 yards. Culbert set the school record for most yards rushing in a single game with 332 yards.
Culbert also recorded 106 tackles, seven sacks and two interceptions for Coach Manuel Douglas. Culbert was selected as player of the year by the Daily Breeze Newspaper in Torrance, Calif., and was a second-team all-state defensive back by CalHi Sports.
As a junior, Culbert ran for 1,116 yards and 12 touchdowns, while recording 90 tackles, seven sacks, two interceptions and three fumble recoveries. He earned first-team all-league honors and second-team all-area honors in helping Narbonne to a 10-3 record.
Culbert was ranked among the top 40 players in California and was named to All-West region teams by PrepStar and SuperPrep. He chose Nebraska over offers from Oregon, UCLA, Washington, California, Fresno State, San Diego State and UNLV.
Culbert, the son of Renee Culbert, was born on Dec. 29, 1987. His godparents are Orlando and Maria Pile. He is majoring in communication studies and has participated in Nebraska’s team hospital visits.