It is never a bad thing for the Sooners to keep one of the top high school talents in the great state of Oklahoma within state lines, especially taking into account they've lost the top in-state kid the last two years. So when news broke Monday night regarding the verbal commitment of Heritage Hall WR Sterling Shepard, I venture to guess there were plenty of OU fans (recruiting fans anyway) smiling from ear to ear. Shepard is a Sooner legacy being the son of the late Derrick Shepard who was a star WR for OU before going on to a career in the NFL. So as to be expected, the family ties were going to be tough to go against and despite his earlier proclamation to "take his time and look around" the appeal of staying close to home and family as well as following in his father's footsteps was just too great.
This is where my heart is, Shepard said. There is great tradition here. My father, my uncles went here. It was time.
I went to Oklahoma State and I talked to some other coaches, and I realized what I wanted, he said. I talked about it with my mom and my family in the last couple of days, and they’re all supportive of the decision. It’s close to home, so they can still attend the games. My older sister is at OU, so she’s really happy about it.
Shepard is considered to be in the top three of OK 2012 prospects, so now OU has two of the top three in-state kids. We were unable to confirm that the third and current top overall prospect, Barry J. Sanders, is in the process of breaking yet another NCAA violation with Alabama coach Nick Saban so it's probably safe to just assume it's happened a third time. So it's clear that OU is making a statement early in the 2012 recruiting process by making a strong effort to keep the top OK kids in state. The 5'10" 175 pound WR turned down offers from Clemson, K-State, Missouri, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma State to give his verbal to the Sooners.
As you'll see in the highlights below, this kid is VERY deserving of his top three ranking and would make an outstanding compliment at the WR spot to a certain man-child and the likely #1 overall 2012 recruit Mr. Dorial Green-Beckham. But for now OU fans should be very happy about keeping an incredibly talented local product close to home and a second generation Sooner in the OU family!
Welcome (officially) to Sooner Nation Sterling!!!