Texas A&M senior Shane Tripucka has quietly continued the Aggies’ tradition of excellent punting, following in the footsteps of Drew Kaser, who is punting for the Los Angeles Chargers. Last season Tripucka did not allow a single touchback in 69 attempts and placed a school-record 27 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard-line. This season, the Allen High alumnus switched his number from Nos. 46 to 18 to honor his grandfather, Frank Tripucka, whose No. 18 is retired by the Denver Broncos for the years he spent playing quarterback in the Mile High City.
How special is it getting to wear the new number?
For me, changing to my grandpa’s 18 was awesome. I was so excited. I’ve been trying to change my number for a couple of years, and it hasn’t worked out with a couple of guys on the team. Not a huge deal but getting an opportunity to wear that number this year was really cool, because my grandpa got it retired with the Broncos. They unveiled his big sign in the stadium last year, so it’s kind of cool to be able to honor him and wear his number this year for my last season. I called my grandma and told her when [special teams coordinator Jeff Banks] told me I got the number, and she was ecstatic. I loved my 46, too. It wasn’t like I was changing because I hated my number. It was a cool opportunity to get to wear my grandpa’s number.
Do you know any stories of your grandpa?
Talking to my family about it, they have a bunch of stuff from when my grandfather played — a bunch of his old jerseys and everything. They’ve told me stories. He was a really good…
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