October 11, 2007

Brantly closing in on friend's record

Texas A&M has been the home to some great punters over the years. Most recently it was Cody Scates who had a 41.6-yard average. Other greats in the Aggie pipeline were Todd Tschantz from 1984-86 (42.4-yard average), Phil Scoggin from 1964-65 (41.9), Steve O'Neal from 1966-68 (41.8) and David Davis from 1991-92 (41.8).

The most well-known, however, is Shane Lechler who punted from 1996-99 and broke the A&M career punting record with a 44.7-yard average. Lechler is still punting in the NFL for the Oakland Raiders, but he is also taking time to give pointers to an old family friends - current A&M junior punter Justin Brantly.

"The funny thing about Shane is that my dad and his dad coached together in high school. Shane actually babysat me when I was little," Brantly said. "We're really good family friends and we're on the deer lease together, and we still hang out with our families. We just went to his little girl's birthday party recently before he went back, and he's also giving me pointers. That helps out a lot."

During the season, Lechler is busy with his NFL career and Brantly said he doesn't get a lot of time to chat with the former A&M great. In the off-season, however, Brantly picks Lechler's brain to try to get better on the field.

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