Syracuse quarterback Rex Culpepper did not appear at recent practices due to what the program called a “personal matter.” On Friday, he revealed the cause for his absence: he has cancer.
Culpepper, a redshirt sophomore, explained in an Instagram post that he had surgery after being diagnosed with testicular cancer last week. The cancer spread to lymph nodes in his abdomen, so he will “undergo an extensive 10-week chemotherapy cycle.” He said the type of cancer he has is “very treatable.”
Culpepper said the last few days have been a “whirlwind,” but he aims to return to the field and do it quickly.
“To those that have reached out, I thank you, your support has been paramount. I am deeply thankful to my family, close friends, and teammates as well, because no doubt I’ll be leaning on you through this,” he wrote. “At the end of the day though, it happened, it’s treatable and I’ll be back on the field ASAP.”
Culpepper was a three-star recruit in Syracuse’s 2016 class. After redshirting his first year on campus, Culpepper completed 45-of-75 passes for 518 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in 2017. He appeared in 12 games, four at quarterback and eight on special teams on the kickoff return unit.
With starter Eric Dungey sidelined, Culpepper made his first career start in the regular season finale against Boston College. He threw for 280 yards, two touchdowns and one interception while completing 24-of-34 attempts.
Culpepper entered spring practice at No. 3 on the depth chart behind Dungey and redshirt freshman Tommy DeVito.
After going 4-8 in 2017, the Orange open the 2018 season at Western Michigan on Aug. 31.
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