Charles McCullum may play for one of the newest teams in the National Arena League but he’s no stranger to winning. The seven year veteran of indoor and arena football has a multitude of championship and playoff appearances, most notably a Professional Indoor Football League championship and back to back Indoor Football League MVP awards in 2016 and 2017.
Even discounting the laundry list of accolades he’s earned under coach Back during the PIFL and IFL years, McCullum is still a sturdy quarterback in the National Arena League. When it comes to picking an MVP candidate the question is always “what have you done for me lately?”
So far in his eight game appearances McCullum clocks in at 58.9 percent passing efficiency [third highest in the league] with 11 interceptions but more that makes up for that by not only having the Carolina Cobras topping the league at 6-2 with a average of 57 points per contest. He also leads the league in passing with 1,751 yards [seconded by Brackett’s 1,640 yards], 48 touchdown passes [Espinosa 36], and is tied with Brackett for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback this season at four each.
Beyond the statistics and numbers, McCullum has been able to shine and show his leadership during practice and game time alike. Many of his teammates cite McCullum as being responsible for helping them better themselves on the field and being able translate his lessons onto the field. The quarterback has also shown he can rally his team to almost unbelievable feats such as overcoming a 20 point deficit in the final quarter of play for a victory as they did in Week 6.
Earlier in the season on the NAL Now podcast, when he was asked about the potential of winning a third MVP award across two different leagues, McCullum seemed to have contemplated the possibility.
“I don’t want to jinx it but, for me to win MVP a third time…that would nothing but a blessing and dedication to my hard work and to how seriously I take the game and working on my craft as well as how good my teammates have been for the past three years too,” he said on Inside the Arena’s NAL podcast. “So really that would just attest to what Billy [Back] has accomplished as a coach and how we’ve been sticking together and getting this train rolling, it would be a real big plus for the Carolina Cobras.”
Even with big games coming in the back half of the schedule for Carolina, don’t expect McCullum to slow down, either. Another two rounds with the Columbus Lions and their own front runner for MVP Mason Espinosa could shift the dynamic of the MVP runoff for many of the NAL fans, but for now McCullum just has to continue on the path that he’s already walked twice before.