HookemHeadlines takes a look at a former Longhorn Jordan Shipley, his impact on the Texas program, and where he is today.
Shipley came to Texas following a stellar high school career at Burnet High School, where he played in back-to-back state championship games in 2002 and 2003. He left Burnet as the state’s leading receiver in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns.
At Texas, the receiver’s career did not get off to a good start. After redshirting the 2004 season, Shipley suffered a knee injury prior to the start of the 2005 season and missed the entire year. He worked his way back onto the field in 2006 and finished with 16 catches. The following season saw his receptions increase to 27 as he played in the shadows of Limas Sweed and Billy Pittman.
That would change in 2008.
Building rapport with quarterback Colt McCoy, Shipley had a breakout senior season. His 89 catches were second on the team to Quan Crosby‘s 92. Shipley came up big when it was needed most. Against the Oklahoma Sooners, Shipley hauled in 11 passes for 112 yards and a score. His biggest play, however, was returning a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown after the Sooners had jumped out to a 14-3 lead. Texas ended up winning 45-35.
Two weeks later, Shipley lit up the Oklahoma State Cowboys secondary for 15 catches. He closed the season with 10 catches versus the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
Not ready to hang up the cleats, Shipley applied for a medical hardship to return for one more season. The NCAA granted him the hardship. The 2009 season would be his best on campus. Shipley and McCoy were unstoppable, with the receiver hauling in eight or more passes in eight games that season. Texas advanced to the BCS National Championship against the Alabama Crimson Tide, but came up short 37-21. Shipley finished with 116 receptions for 1,458 yards and 13 touchdowns – all career highs.
The Cincinnati Bengals selected Shipley in the third round (84th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. He had a solid rookie season, grabbing 52 passes for 600 yards and three scores.
Unfortunately, injuries struck again. Shipley tore ligaments in his knee in Week 2 of the 2011 season versus the Denver Broncos. He was released in 2012 by the Bengals.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers claimed him shortly before the 2012 season started, but released him during the team’s final roster cuts. He was resigned by the Buccaneers several weeks later following an injury to one of the team’s receivers. He saw action on special teams against the Dallas Cowboys. His return to Texas was not a happy one, however. He had a crucial fumble on a punt return that lead to a field goal as the Cowboys prevailed, 16-10. Shipley was released two days later. He caught on with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and finished with 23 catches in six games.
Prior to the 2013 season, Jacksonville released Shipley. He was not signed by another team that year. He announced his retirement in 2014.
Recently Shipley put the pads back on, playing former Texas star Cotton Speyrer in the movie “My All-American.” The movie is based on Texas’ 1969 National Championship team.
Although he never won a national championship while on the field (he was injured in 2005), Shipley is still one of the greatest wide receivers to ever don the burnt orange.