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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Shane Tripucka, P, Texas A&M University

What is your name?

Shane Tripucka

What is your Height/Weight?

6’ 3” 210

What is your position?

Punter

Where do you play college football?

Texas A&M University

Where are you from?

Allen, TX

Who is your role model, and why?

My parents. They have sacrificed so much to help me achieve my dreams. The most selfless and supportive parents a kid could ever ask for.

Who was your favorite teacher?

It’s hard to pick just 1. I’ve had many teachers and professors over the years who have been such a great influence on me. In high school, Jason Thompson and Coach McCullogh really helped me be a better student. They really cared about the students and made the classroom a fun place to be. In college I had professors like Paul Batista and Gregg Bennett in the sports management department who always looked out for me and expected a lot from me in the classroom and I think that really helped me during my college years. 

Did you play any other sports growing up?

I played a little bit of everything! Football, baseball, basketball, golf…you name it, I played it!

Who was the toughest player you ever faced?

In the SEC, everyone’s tough. But being a punter, it’s different. Tough players for me to play against are the other SEC punters. They are all very good and you want to go out and out punt them every week.

Who is the most underrated player on your team?

Damien Ratley. The guy is a beast. Had a big year for us this year and really came through with some explosive plays when we needed it.

What is the one song that would fire you up before the biggest game of your life?

There isn’t one song for me! I have a whole playlist haha. Consists of anything 1997-2005 punk rock, alternative, anything! Blink-182 to foo fighters to nirvana. I got it all!

If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be and why?

I would say my game is most like Chris Jones of the Cowboys. He is a very consistent directional and hangtime punter.

What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?

Being a walk-on in an SEC program. It was rough having to come in and earn everything. It was a long and sometimes frustrating road to becoming a starter and earning a scholarship but ultimately was worth every second. I got the opportunity to sit and learn from great specialists like Drew Kaser, Taylor Bertolet, and Josh Lambo. And it all paid off, in the end, I was ready when my time came.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

I just put on my headphones and relax. I am very routine oriented so I go out early and stretch and get loose and just relax before I come out to punt. Something. I’ve just always done.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

As a punter, probably UCLA 2016 or Florida 2017. Two of my best games and I played really well. Ended up being great games that we won at the end.

Overall, I’d have to say against Alabama 2014. A 95-yard touchdown pass from Manziel to Mike Evans. I’ve never witnessed a louder moment in Kyle Field.

What is the coolest thing you ever did off the field for someone else?

I think giving back to the younger generation of specialists is something that is very rewarding. I have great punting coaches that I work with that I go back and help them coach some of the younger guys ever once in a while. It’s very rewarding for me to share what I’ve learned with younger guys, jut as the older guys did for me.

Who was your favorite NFL team growing up?

I grew up a HUGE NY Jets fan!

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would choose?

Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Chris Farley. Would be legendary.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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