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Penn State Football: Defensive Tackle Judge Culpepper Went Home and Met His New Neighbor, Tom Brady

by on July 21, 2020 2:30 PM

There is a lot to unpack in the life of Penn State defensive tackle Judge Culpepper.

For one, his father, Brad, played nearly a decade in the NFL. It's not an entirely unique thing for the dad of a college football player to have on his resume, but nothing to overlook either.

Oh and then both of his parents were on "Survivor" for two separate seasons, nearly winning on both occasions.  

"[My mother] was eating like grub worms and cow eyeballs and a bunch of crazy stuff," Culpepper said with a laugh on a video call Tuesday. "And there were like 10 people in the challenge and my mom ate all that food the fastest. I was impressed you know I always knew my mom was tough, but you know, eating grubs and cow eyeballs like that, that's no easy feat."

Safe to say that she was not having a normal evening.

Fast forward a few years all the way to 2020. Now Culpepper is standing on the dock in the backyard, talking to his dad about boats and life as one does on a nice day in the Florida sun, stuck at home during a pandemic. 

As they continue to chat, both of them notice someone else the next dock over, so they wave at their newest neighbor. It's important to be nice when folks move into the neighborhood. Want them to feel welcome after all.

And Tom Brady waves back.

Because yes, their new neighbor is Tom Brady, who happened to buy Derek Jeter's old house. And yes — as you can quickly surmise — Jeter was once Culpepper's neighbor as well.

"He did actually move into Derek Jeter's house which funny enough, is my next door neighbor's house which is just kind of insane," Culpepper said laughing again.

"No one really believes me and I'm okay with that. They can come visit and see for themselves. It was honestly crazy the first couple of days, like there's a million people driving by and like news people and we just kind of laid low and didn't really want to like impede on Tom Brady's privacy."

But standing in the backyard you're just neighbors, albeit neighbors with perhaps the greatest quarterback of all-time who just so happens to be talking to you about boats as he goes from New England cold to the warmth of Tampa Bay.

"I've waved across our docks, he was on his dock," Culpepper added. "My dad and I are out there and he was talking to us about boat stuff."

Now back in State College life is slightly less exciting than it is when Culpepper gets to go back home. His neighbor might be well known but he sure isn't Tom Brady. And while Centre County might have its fair share of lakes and boating opportunities, nobody is going to confuse Bald Eagle Lake for the Gulf of Mexico. 

Perhaps most importantly though, Culpepper got plenty of his mom's cooking while he was back home. And even more importantly she left out the eyeballs.

A strange life indeed.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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