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Oklahoma football notebook: Sterling Shepard close to dad's career numbers

Just 20 games into his own college football career, Sterling Shepard has already tied his dad's eight career touchdown catches, and is three receptions from pulling even in that category, too.
by Ryan Aber and Jason Kersey Published: October 23, 2013

Oklahoma sophomore wide receiver Sterling Shepard has often spoken of his father's legacy being an important motivating force.

Just 20 games into his own college football career, Shepard has already tied his dad's eight career touchdown catches, and is three receptions from pulling even in that category, too.

The late Derrick Shepard, a walk-on receiver in the 1980s, caught 76 career passes for 1,237 yards and eight touchdowns over his four years.

Sterling Shepard has grabbed 73 career receptions for 969 yards and eight scores.

“That's the first time I've heard that,” Sterling Shepard responded when asked about it after Tuesday's practice. “That's pretty cool. … Hopefully I get him.”

Derrick Shepard, of course, played on teams that didn't pass nearly as much as the present-day Sooners.

“He didn't get to catch the ball that much,” Sterling Shepard said with a smile.

Derrick Shepard was a graduate assistant coach throughout the first couple months of the Bob Stoops era in 1999, but left to take a full-time position at Wyoming. He died of a heart attack at age 35 before he coached a game there, though.

OU ASKING FANS TO ‘CREATE A RUCKUS'

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops fired up fans before the Sooners' 2008 home game against Texas Tech, saying the OU home crowd wasn't known for being very “ruckus.”

Oklahoma fans responded by creating one of the best atmospheres Owen Field has seen in years, and that helped the Sooners rout then-No. 2 Texas Tech 65-21.

Monday, Stoops again asked the fans to come fired up to a home game against an unbeaten Red Raiders squad.

“It'd be awesome if we could recreate that atmosphere, and everybody jump in and do their best to try to affect the game, and, you know, build some excitement and all,” Stoops said. “We've gotta do our part. It's a lot easier to be excited when you're playing well. We've gotta hopefully give them some things to cheer about and jump in the game.”

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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