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OU football: Sterling Shepard passes on lunch date to study film

The Sooners are inexperienced at receiver, and the former Heritage Hall wideout has started working toward making an impact in 2012.
by Jason Kersey Published: July 1, 2012

NORMAN — I bumped into Heritage Hall football coach Andy Bogert last week in Norman.

After we exchanged pleasantries, I casually inquired about Sterling Shepard, Bogert's former star receiver who is preparing for his first season at OU.

“Funny you should ask,” Bogert said.

That very day, Bogert was supposed to meet Shepard for lunch.

But Shepard called his old coach that morning to say he couldn't make it.

He had to study film.

“It makes me more proud of him,” Bogert said. “He knew what he needed to do. There's other times for us to go to lunch.

“I think that tells you that he's pretty focused on trying to be a starter on that team.”

It's a much more realistic goal than it likely was when Shepard signed his letter of intent in February.

In May, wideouts Trey Franks, Kameel Jackson and Jaz Reynolds were all suspended indefinitely by coach Bob Stoops for violating unspecified team rules. Franks and Reynolds were removed from their scholarships; Jackson kept his for the summer, but he might lose it come fall.

All three have daunting roads ahead to return to Stoops' good graces.

If the suspensions last through the Sept. 1 opener at UTEP, junior Kenny Stills will be the only receiver on the roster with any experience.

Shepard is one of four true freshmen joining the Sooners, along with Trey Metoyer, Durron Neal and Derrick Woods. Junior college transfers Courtney Gardner and LaColtan Bester are also expected to compete for playing time.

But Shepard brings a unique skill set, one that could move him right into an important role vacated by Ryan Broyles, who left Norman as the NCAA's all-time receptions leader.

“I think he's a slot receiver,” Bogert said. “I think that's what they're thinking, and that's what I've always thought, just because Sterling's good when you move him around.

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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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