Rex Culpepper steals spotlight during annual SU Football 'Spring Preview'
Spring football is officially in the books for the Syracuse Orange.
However, the story of Friday night's scrimmage revolved around a rising sophomore quarterback from Tampa, Florida.
Roughly one month ago, Rex Culpepper was not sure if he would ever be able to play football again.
Culpepper was diagnosed with testicular cancer in March, undergoing treatments in Tampa before returning to Syracuse.
Although he's still in the midst of chemo treatments, Culpepper felt strong enough to enter the scrimmage Friday night.
That's when Dino Babers entered him into the game, as the crowd rose to its feet in celebration of the young man who's endured so much,
Culpepper completed four passes on the offensive drive, culminating in a touchdown pass to Ravian Pierce.
His teammates mobbed him down the field, erupting in celebration.
Dino Babers admitted he was not in favor of putting Culpepper in the game due to injury concerns, but ultimately decided otherwise.
"Well, I didn't want him to get hurt," Babers said. "Let's put it like this -- he went out there and threw the ball around a little bit, but the other 21 guys were under strict orders not to get close or else. But it was good. It was a good moment for him."
In terms of the size of the crowd, Babers detailed his thoughts on the annual spring game.
"You know what? I thought it was a decent crowd for a 7 o'clock [start] on a Friday with a 1 and a 3 in it," Babers shared with a smile. "There are some superstitious people out there. Maybe they don't want to come out of the house. I get it. Next year, maybe it can be on the 12th or the 14th or something like that. Maybe we can get a bigger crowd."
The Orange will not appear in front of the media again until fall workouts begin in August, with the season opener set for Friday, August 31 on the road at Western Michigan.