Minnesota Vikings, NFL
- 3x Pro Bowl selection with the Minnesota Vikings (2000, 2003 and 2004)
- 2x All-Pro selection (2000 and 2004)
- Set more than 30 school records and has his jersey retried at the University of Central Florida
- Florida Sports Hall of Fame’s People’s Choice Award winner (1997)
- Named Co-Player of the Year with Texas’ Ricky Williams during his senior season (1998)
Daunte Culpepper was drafted eleventh overall I the 1999 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings and was the team’s starting quarterback by 2000. Daunte led the Vikings to seven straight wins in his first seven professional games, helping the team to an 11-5 record and a NFC Championship game appearance. In his first starting season, Daunte passed for 3,937 yards, 33 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He also rushed for 470 yards and seven touchdowns. The first of Daunte’s three Pro Bowl appearances came at the end of that 2000 season. After rushing for ten touchdowns in 2002, Daunte led NFL quarterbacks in that category for the year and today is ranked sixth in NFL history in the same category. Daunte’s most successful season in the NFL came in 2004 when he led the Vikings to the playoffs for the second time in his career with the team. Daunte passed for a league-leading 4,717 yards, 39 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. That season, he broke Dan Marino's NFL record for combined passing and rushing yards, amassing 5,123 total yards. His 2,323 rushing yards from the 2000-2004 season also made him only the fourth quarterback in NFL history to run for more than 2,300 yards in a five-season period. Following his career in Minnesota, Daunte joined Nick Saban’s Miami Dolphins, the Oakland Raiders, Detroit Lions and Sacramento Mountain Lions. Daunte’s career rushing average of 26.1 yards per game is fourth-best among quarterbacks in NFL history.
Before going pro, Daunte played football for the University of Central Florida where he broke almost all of the school’s quarterback records. Daunte’s career at UCF was highlighted by many awards and achievements, including being a Florida Sports Hall of Fame’s People’s Choice Award in 1997. During the 1997 season, Daunte finished fourth in the national in total offense with an average of 320 yards per game on his way to breaking fifteen school records including single-season passing and single-season total offense. Daunte accumulated 3,524 yards passing and rushing in his junior season and received a spot on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll for both semesters. During his senior season, Daunte shattered Steve Young’s single-season completion percentage record by connecting on 296 of 402 passes for 3,690 yards and 28 touchdowns. He finished his college career being named Co-Player of the year along with Texas running back Ricky Williams.