Monday, February 11, 2013
Texas K Wicker talks TAMU opportunity
By Sam Khan Jr.
Cody Wicker missed his initial chance to impress Texas A&M.
During the summer prior to his senior season, a critical time for kickers to showcase their talents for college coaches, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound kicker from Dallas/Jesuit suffered a groin injury.
That sidelined him for a portion of the summer and prevented him from kicking. That downtime included his trip to Texas A&M. He attended, but was unable to perform and didn't hear from the Aggies again throughout the course of the season.
"Last summer I went to a bunch of college camps but I strained my groin, so obviously you can't kick with a strained groin," Wicker said. "I was supposed to go into that [Texas A&M] camp and really get noticed. I went for half the camp and left because I couldn't kick."
Meanwhile, one of his friends, Shane Tripucka of Allen, did go in and impress. Tripucka, an Under Armour All-American punter, was courted by the Aggies and eventually scored a preferred walk-on opportunity with the team.
Wicker actually beat Tripucka to the punch, accepting a preferred walk-on chance almost a week before Tripucka did after getting to know new Texas A&M special teams coordinator Jeff Banks throughout the last month-plus.
So despite missing his chance to impress the Aggies initially, Wicker will still be in Aggieland in 2013.
He was impressed by Banks, who came to Texas A&M from UTEP and was a college punter himself at Washington State.
"I didn't meet Coach Banks until early January," Wicker said. "We kind of got to know each other through Chris Sailer Kicking. I really liked him from the beginning. He's a really nice guy, he knows a lot about kicking and punting. I've never had a special teams coordinator that was a punter or a kicker, so I like that about him. He's a really good recruiter and I can tell that I'm going to get a lot better being coached by him."
As a senior at Dallas Jesuit, Wicker was 11-of-13 on field goal attempts with a long of 49 yards. He started the season by kicking a game-winning field goal in a 30-29 victory over Wilmette (Ill.) Loyola Academy in a game in Dublin, Ireland. He was 43-of-45 on point-after-touchdown kick attempts and recorded touchbacks on 75 percent of his kickoffs.
"[Bertolet]'s got a big leg, but I really feel like I can go in and challenge for the field goal job and if not, I'm hoping to redshirt," Wicker said. "I'm really hoping to go in and push him to get better or win the job."
It also doesn't hurt that one of his high school teammates, linebacker Jordan Mastrogiovanni, recently signed with the Aggies on national signing day. Also, Jesuit tackle J.J. Gustafson accepted a grayshirt opportunity there. Also, there are several Aggies in Wicker's family.
"My mom's side of the family is all Aggies," he said. "My grandfather is 90 years old and he's class of '49. We're big Aggies on my mom's side, but I have a brother that runs track at UT and a sister that goes to UT, so it was kind of weird. But Banks came over and I just saw it as a great opportunity."