Garner grad in Super spotlight
Posted January 31, 2013
New Orleans — Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans marks a return to the big game for the San Francisco 49ers. It is their first chance at the championship since 1995, and the first for the one player on the roster with Triangle roots.
Garner's Chris Culliver is in his second season with the team, and he played a pivotal role in getting them there. The 24-year-old is just six years away from playing on Friday nights for Garner High School. He made 47 tackles with two interceptions and a forced fumble this season while starting six games for the NFC champion Niners (13-4-1).
"It's definitely a good feeling, the Super Bowl," Culliver said earlier this week.
"You watch that as a little kid, and you always know you want to make it to the Super Bowl. It's a dream come true."
Culliver's journey to this moment started on the Trojan practice field, learning the game from recently retired head coach Nelson Smith who played a huge part in in his development on and off the field.
"He meant a lot. I had anger issues. I had a lot of things going on, and he helped me control that and make me a better person," Culliver said.
The 49ers drafted him in the third round after a successful career at South Carolina and he proved his worth on one of the team's biggest plays of the season -- a key interception in the NFC title game win over Atlanta.
"Any time I'm on the field, I'm always trying to get better. I feel like I have enough talent," he said.
Now he's looking for the chance to bring a Super Bowl ring back to Garner. "The chance came earlier than later," Culliver said. "I'm just happy to be in this position."