Frye, No. 83 Have a History
Jay Frye and the No. 83 go way back, long before he became Red Bull Racing Team’s general manager and vice president earlier this month.
For four seasons (1983-86), Frye played college football at the University of Missouri, fighting off pass rushers and blitzing linebackers as a tight end and offensive lineman. He earned a varsity letter in 1986.
It just so happens that his black-and-gold jersey number was 83 (pictured above), which, two decades later, is the same number as Brian Vickers’ Sprint Cup car.
There’s a story behind Frye’s No. 83, and it starts with Kellen Winslow, an NFL hall of famer who also played tight end for the Tigers. Winslow wore the same number in the late 1970s.
“Kellen Winslow went there, and, of course, he was pretty good,” Frye explained. “There were a couple of guys between he and I who were really good tight ends. When I got there, you’re carrying on the tradition of the No. 83. Ultimately, they retired the number, so I tell people my number is retired. But really there’s a different name on it — Winslow, not Frye.”