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XFL Wildcats punter Shane Tripucka is staying ready

Tripucka was one of the most overlooked players in the XFL.

XFL Los Angeles Wildcats punter Shane Tripucka

XFL Los Angeles Wildcats punter Shane Tripucka (Twitter)

Former Aggie at Texas A&M, Shane Tripucka the punter of the Los Angeles Wildcats. Tripucka was one of the most overlooked players in the XFL.

Tripucka has always been putting up great numbers in average punt yards and hitting big punts in general.

At 6’3 and 203 lbs, Tripucka is a tall and strong punter that should be punting at the professional level.

Ace of the Aggies

Tripucka did not make an immediate impact at Texas A&M until his sophomore year, and then he made it count at a high level.

As the starting punter against Ball State, he replaced a future NFL punter which was the injured Drew Kaser. Tripucka averaged 44.0 yards per punt on his two punts against the Cardinals. He had a boot of 46 yards and landed one punt inside the Ball State 20-yard line.

Tripucka won the starting punter role in his junior year as an Aggie. He made his presence noted and then some. He would break a multitude of school records and more.

He set a school record with 27  that would land inside the-20 and did not have a single touchback on 69 punt attempts Tripucka would earn a 41.6 on net punting, which ranked seventh in the entire nation. The punter would finish the year with a 42.9 punt average. Tripucka set a season-high of 47.8 yards per punt on six boots against Ole Miss. The ace would land nine punts inside the 20 against Tennessee. Then he would go on to force a season-high five fair catches against the University of Texas-San Antonio and majestically hit his season-long of 59 yards three times.

Tripucka was proving his dominance in the Aggie uniform.

Senior Season

Tripucka punted the ball 76 times with an average distance of 46.1 yards per punt. He would go on to lead the SEC in net punt yards with a statement-making 43.4 yards, which also ranks second in the entire NCAA.  The right-footed bomber would have 30 punts of 50 or more yards. Tripucka booted a ball into space with a career-long punt of 64 yards in a game against Louisiana. In just one game he had five punts downed inside the 20 at Ole Miss.

Tripucka would earn an invite to the NFLPA All-Star Bowl. He was a member of The All-American’s inaugural All-America Team.

After the season. Tripucka would garner the honors of the Texas A&M special teams Player of the Year award. He was also named to the Phil Steele Publications All-SEC First Team.

NFL Chances

Tripucka was given two brief NFL opportunities by the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers.

The reason that Tripucka changed his jersey number to #18 for his senior season, was because he wanted to wear the same number as his grandfather, Frank Tripucka, who is a member of the Denver Broncos “Ring of Fame.”

For the Chargers, he would see some pre-season action.

XFL: Getting Wild with the Wildcats

Tripucka would go on to land with the Los Angeles Wildcats of the XFL, being brought in just as the inaugural XFL season was starting. He would boot 17 punts for 662 yards, an average punt of 38.9 yards. Seven of his punts landed inside the 20-yard line. Tripucka guided the ball well never allowing a touchback. His long was 51 yards.

The XFL was an awesome showing for Tripucka. He showed that he can hit a pinpoint accurate ball. He didn’t look for massive punts but looked for the accurate ball that would pin the opponent deep. The punt rule was key in helping show an accurate ball can be better than a big ball.

Staying Ready

Tripucka is always looking for his next pro opportunity. He is hitting big punts all the time. There are a ton of injuries to specialists this season in the NFL, so this would be a great opportunity for him to get to the show once again.

He has the numbers and records to flash. He has the leg, the heart, the hustle, he has every attribute to a great punter at the professional level.

Moose Gibson has been involved with football long as he can remember, but no league does he love as much as the XFL. He is a huge fan of the Seattle Dragons, his favorite players are Brock Miller and Brandon Silvers. You can follow him on Twitter @midnightxmoose.

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