A.J. Francis brings back Grandpa Shaky

Grandpa Shaky is back. And he might be making an appearance at Mountaineer Field.

The great-grandfather of Maryland defensive lineman A.J. Francis became the stuff of legend last season, when Francis spoke of the relative everyone simply knows as Shaky.

Grandpa Shaky has actually Benjamin-Buttoned in age since he last came up. Last year, before the Terps hosted West Virginia, Francis joked, “We think he is 155 years old.”

Now, Francis says he’s somewhere around 91. “Somewhere” because when Francis says Grandpa Shaky was born in 19-Whatever, he really means 19-Whatever. Born in a Louisiana house down on the Bayou, Grandpa Shaky never had a birth certificate.

“In his house, he has $100,000 probably buried in mattresses,” Francis said. “He still has the first paycheck he ever got in his life. He’s unbelievable. We don’t really know how old he is.

Francis’s grandfather is from Gary, W.Va., a small town of less than 1,000 near the state’s southern tip, deep into coal-mining country, located just over four hours from Morgantown, W.Va., Grandpa Shaky still lives in Gary when he’s not with Francis’s aunt in Pulaski, Va., near the Kentucky border, where the kids hang out at Wal-Mart on weekends, Francis says in bewilderment.

Francis, who was born in Washington, D.C., and attended Gonzaga, still isn’t sure if Grandpa Shaky will make it out to see his great-grandson play for the first time after watching all his games on television.

“We’ve got to work it out,” Francis said. “It takes him forever to walk down stairs and stuff.”

Regardless if he graces Mountaineer Field with the rare apperance, Grandpa Shaky is still being Grandpa Shaky.

“He’s still rocking the Jheri curl, still keeping it strong,” Francis said.

Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.

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