Texas A&M walk-on Cullen Gillaspia will have the honor of wearing No. 12 for the program this season. Friday, he posted an emotional note to Twitter.
Cullen Gillaspia, a sophomore linebacker who walked on with the program, was officially given a scholarship last week. Friday, he was given an even bigger honor - he'll wear No. 12 for the Aggies this season. As you'd guess, that's a special honor in College Station. Here's more, via 247Sports:
Texas A&M's 12th Man tradition dates back to 1922 when E. King Gill came down from the stands to suit up against Centre College. Though he did not enter the game, it showed a willingness to join in with the team. That is why Aggie fans are called the "12th Man" to this day.
Now, the number 12 at A&M is reserved for one player, usually a special teams ace, and always a walk-on or former walk-on, that shows leadership and dedication.
Gillaspia, after learning of the decision, took to Twitter with an emotional note for his followers. You can read it below:
"The past week has by far been the best week of my life, from earning a full athletic scholarship to become the 12th man. I would like to personally thank each and every one of ya'll from the bottom of my heart for the support y'all have showed. None of this would be possible without y'all, and of course the man upstairs. He has been blessing me more than I could ever imagine. Earning the 12th man holds a special place in my heart because it was my goal through the whole offseason. Every rep, every spring, every 5am workout I had one thing in my mind and that was the #12. Today all of the hard work payed off and a dream came true. I cannot wait to run onto Kyle field tomorrow representing the best University in the world. I may be wearing the 12 on the field. But the real 12s are the ones in the stands. I'm extremely humbled and blessed by this opportunity and Tomorrow I plan to make the best of it. Once again, THANKS and #BTHOucla."
Here's the post itself:
Congrats to Gillaspia on the honor. Texas A&M and UCLA kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS.