A Modern Day Jim Thorpe

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By: Tony Thomas

He played on offense as a wide receiver, on defense as a defensive back, and on special teams as a KR/PR. He even kicked a field goal. With his 4.4 speed, he could run like a deer. He was the Jim Thorpe of the 21st century. He is Jordan Shipley of the Burnet Bulldogs.


A Special Talent

Coached by his father Bob Shipley, Jordan is #2 in Texas high school football history with 5,424 career receiving yards and 73 receiving touchdowns. And because he was an all-purpose threat, he scored 716 points in his prep career.

High school football fans in Texas learned quick, fast, and in a hurry how good Shipley was going to be in his very first game as freshman at Rotan High. He accounted for 454 all-purpose yards and ran three punts back for touchdown. He later transferred to Burnet.

As a junior and senior at Burnet, he helped lead the Bulldogs to back-to-back 3A state championship game appearances, but losing both of them.

In his junior year, Shipley caught 79 passes for 1,717 yards and 22 TDs. Oh, and he also intercepted 10 passes, returning three for touchdowns. In the 3A title game, he caught a TD pass, but the Bulldogs were held scoreless in the 4th quarter in a losing effort. He was named the 3A Offensive Player of the Year, as Burnet finished the season at 14-1.

In 2003 as a senior, Shipley was even more outstanding. He caught 95 balls for 1,920 yards and 30 TDs on offense. On defense, he intercepted eight passes and made 73 tackles. And on special teams, he ran two punts and two kickoffs back for touchdowns.

The Bulldogs once again found themselves in the 3A title game vs Gainesville. Shipley caught six passes for 120 yards and two TDs. He also kicked a 29-yard field goal in a 28-14 loss.

Shipley earned his second consecutive 3A Offensive Player of the Year as the Bulldogs finished the season again at 14-1.

He earned 3A All-State honors on offense, defense, and special teams. Shipley was also named a Parade All-American.


A Longhorn Legend

For college ball, Shipley signed with the Texas Longhorns. He missed two years due to injury and was granted a 6th year of eligibility for medical hardship.

But 2009 was a record year.


Teaming up with QB Colt McCoy, they were one of the best QB/WR duos in the country. In that ’09 season, Shipley caught 116 passes for 1,485 yards and 13 TDs, earning Consensus All-American honors.

His 116 catches led the Big 12 and were #2 in the NCAA. He also ran two punts back for touchdowns, also tops in the conference. He had seven games of over 100 yards receiving. Against UCF, he caught 11 of McCoy’s throws for 273 yards and a touchdown.

In January 2010, Texas and Alabama met in the BCS Championship Game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. McCoy was knocked out of the game in the first quarter, but Shipley caught 10 passes for 122 yards and two TDs in a 37-21 loss to the Crimson Tide.

For his Longhorn career, Shipley owns the top two spots on the school’s all-time receiving list:

  • Receptions= 248 (#1)
  • Yards= 3,191 (#2)
  • TDs= 33 (#2)

Shipley was selected in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft by Cincinnati. In his rookie year, Shipley caught 52 passes for 600 yards and 3 touchdowns. But his pro career was cut short due to injuries.

He was inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame in 2015.





Featured image credit: https://www.athletespeakers.com/storage/celebrities/1550024724_Jordan%20Shipley.jpg


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