NORMAN — 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.