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Oklahoma sophomore receiver Sterling Shepard nearing his late father's career statistics

by Jason Kersey Published: October 23, 2013

Sterling Shepard, shown here wearing his father's jersey at an Oklahoma football game in 2000. Today, Sterling Shepard wears No. 3 for the Sooners himself. PHOTO PROVIDED

Sterling Shepard, shown here wearing his father’s jersey at an Oklahoma football game in 2000. Today, Sterling Shepard wears No. 3 for the Sooners himself. PHOTO PROVIDED

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.

Here’s my story from last season on Sterling Shepard’s unique bond with Oklahoma football.

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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