Heritage Hall star wide receiver Sterling Shepard really did intend to wait before making his commitment.
He wanted to be patient and look at what else was out there. The truth is, his heart has always been with Oklahoma.
Shepard made it official Monday, orally committing to the Sooners. Shepard joins Jenks running back Alex Ross as two in-state recruits from the Class of 2012 to commit to OU.
“This is where my heart is,” Shepard said. “There is great tradition here. My father, my uncles went here. It was time.”
Shepard’s late father, Derrick, was a star wide receiver for the Sooners and played in the NFL. His uncles, Woodie and Darrell, also played football for OU.
Heritage Hall, a private school in Oklahoma City, is in the national eye because of star running back Barry J. Sanders. But it has not taken long for the rest of the country to notice Shepard, who became one of the most dynamic all-around threats in the state last fall.
When Sanders suffered a foot injury during the middle of the season, Chargers coach Andy Bogert utilized Shepard the same way New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker was used when he played for Heritage Hall.
Shepard, who is being recruited as a receiver for the Sooners, caught 56 balls for 1,015 yards and 18 touchdowns. He helped Heritage Hall finish 15-0 and as Class 3A state champion.
Shepard received the offer from the Sooners earlier this month, on his birthday.
“I went to Oklahoma State, and I talked to some other coaches, and I realized what I wanted,” he said. “I talked about it with my mom and my family in the last couple of days, and they’re all supportive of the decision. It’s close to home, so they can still attend the games. My older sister is at OU, so she’s really happy about it.”
Shepard had seven offers, including Oklahoma State, Notre Dame and Clemson.
Shepard was a threat at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, defensive back and as a kick returner last season.
Shepard is No. 4 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 list of the top recruits for 2012.