AUSTIN—The high school, college, and professional side of the male Shipleys showed up several miles and one Mopac away from DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium, June 22, to conduct a football camp for youngsters.
“Kids remind you what it’s all about,” said Jordan Shipley, and father Bob noted: “It’s fun to see Jordan interact like this; the campers don’t ask anything but to come out and have a good time.”
A couple of reporters, on the other hand, did ask a few things of the Brownwood head coach, the Cincinnati Bengal, and the Texas Longhorn—Jaxon Shipley. Fozzy Whittaker, recent running back for UT, also tossed in a highly regarded name. And, yes, everyone but Bob is recovering from knee injuries.
“I’m ready to go,” declared Jordan. He had a fine rookie season in Cincinnati in 2010 with 52 receptions, then tore his ACL and MCL, September 18, last season. “I’ve had so many things happen to me, I just go out there and play.”
“So many” is so correct. Following his 2004 graduation in Burnet, he was out of action at Texas in ’04 and ’05. Keeping score: three seasons lost out of eight. Of course, in his four campaigns as a Longhorn he became one of the greatest receivers in school history.
“As a parent, it’s rough at times,” admits Bob Shipley, who coached the Bulldogs, 2001-2006. “They don’t call mom (Sharon) or dad when their son is hurt in the NFL. Jordan was knocked out of a game two years ago (October 3), and we knew nothing. The Bengals were playing at Cleveland, so we texted Colt McCoy (Browns quarterback and you know the rest) to tell Jordan to call us. It’s a lot different—dog eat dog.”
“All” Jaxon did was tear his MCL against Kansas, October 29, 2011, in his freshman year at Texas. He missed three and a half games. Otherwise: “I had a blast,” he insisted. “I got a lot of playing time, and I’m looking forward to this season. I feel great.”
“He’s had a great summer,” asserts his Brownwood coach, “and he had a great spring.” Jaxon had 44 catches in ’11 and was a mere four-for-four throwing the ball, three for touchdowns, one in the 21-10 Holiday Bowl win over California. “In high school, he threw three passes and had two intercepted,” Bob related. He’s obviously paying more attention to his coaches.
“Seeing him as a freshman,” Whittaker claims, “shows you he’ll be a great name.”
The Longhorns have, potentially, three outstanding running backs for 2012—Malcolm Brown, Joe Bergeron, and Johnathan Gray. Will this bypass the aerial game? “We need to utilize those guys,” acknowledges Jaxon, “but we’ll be balanced, running and throwing.”
The younger Shipley contends his brother taught him all he knows about the receiver position. “We grew up throwing the ball together. I can’t put into words what it’s been like to have him as a brother and someone to look up to.”
“He’s my best friend,” responds Jordan. “I tried to help him out with anything he needed from me; he’s a special kid.”
Jaxon was asked about the stress of the fans and media. “That can be a negative or positive,” he observed. “If you let them stress you out or worry you it can affect you, but I take it as a positive. We have great fans; if you play great, you love playing for the Longhorns. 101,000 fans at a game gives you an adrenaline rush as you run out of the tunnel.”