Say what you will about Jaxon Shipley’s national status
as a college football prospect, the bottom line with the Brownwood wide
receiver is that he gets the job done. While you won’t find him on many
national recruiting rankings lists, one place you’ll definitely find Shipley is
in the end zone scoring touchdowns and making big plays like he did over the
weekend at the 7-on-7 State Tournament.
He’s not the biggest, strongest, or even the fastest
player out there when he steps onto the football field, but like he showed in
helping Brownwood win the Division II Texas 7-on-7 state championship in
College Station on Friday, Shipley presents a bevy of problems for any defense.
Single coverage, double coverage, triple coverage, an assortment of man and
zone looks – Shipley beat anything and everything teams threw his way during
Brownwood’s perfect 9-0 run in the tournament.
It’s a unique blend of physical skills and feel for the
game that makes Shipley – an ESPN.com four-star prospect and the No. 16-ranked
prospect in the Inside Texas 2011 Top 100 – a force.
The talented 6-foot-1, 180-pounder is one of the savviest
route runners and most knowledgeable receivers the state of Texas has produced
in recent years. Combine his polish and mental aptitude for the position with
quick feet and a rapidly developing physical skill set and it’s easy to see why
an elite national program like Texas was all over him from the beginning of his
Really, Shipley’s recruitment started back in 2004 for
all intents and purposes when his older brother Jordan Shipley, who would later
go on to earn All-American honors at Texas, signed with the Longhorns. The two
are sure to be compared until Jaxon Shipley’s time on the 40 Acres is done
because of the bond they share as brothers, but there are some difference
between the two at the same stage of development.
Jordan Shipley was an impressive high school athlete with
exceptional straight-line speed and burst and a gift not only for stretching
the field vertically but for taking a short hitch or slant route and turning it
into a big play. Jaxon Shipley isn’t as fast, or as naturally quick as his
older brother was when he was shredding defenses at Burnet, but he’s more of a
polished receiver who has a knack for manipulating man coverage and attacking
the football in the air with his bigger frame.
While the older Shipley appears to have the edge in
overall athletic ability, little brother is gaining some ground. Shipley said
he had an excellent offseason where added around 12 pounds of lean muscle and
it shows as his body is starting to develop into that of a college receiver.
The added muscle mass has also helped Shipley’s speed and explosion and he said
he’s got nothing but the hard work required in his father’s (Brownwood head coach
Bob Shipley) offseason program.
“Going through this offseason was pretty tough,” Shipley
said. “I bulked up a little bit. It’s going good. I need to get a little bit
bigger, but other than that everything is great.”
Everything was great over the weekend as Brownwood rolled
its way through the Division II field (Class 3A and under) before defeating
Cameron Yoe in the tournament championship game at Kyle Field.
While some schools mix it up and run an assortment of
specific 7-on-7 plays, but Brownwood opts to use the summer to refine what they
do and they did it very well in College Station.
Last summer Shipley mentioned that several of his
teammates were adjusting to the offensive scheme his father used at Burnet and
Coppell, but this time around he said a big reason for their dominance was the
comfort level after having more than one full year under their belts together.
“We’re running our normal offense,” Shipley said. “We’re
out here getting a lot of reps and its going to help us tremendously next year.”
The dominating 7-on-7 showing not only earned Shipley a
spot on the All-Tournament team, but it also capped off what has been an
exceptional summer. Shipley lit it up in June at Texas’ one-day minicamp on
June 6 and many of his fellow commits, including Angleton’s Quandre Diggs, were
singing his praises.
Shipley said he appreciated the compliments from his
future teammates, including his future roommate Diggs, and he was thrilled to
be able to perform at his best in front of his peers.
“I felt like I did well,” Shipley said. “Quandre – he’s a
lockdown guy and I went against him a couple of times. It was a battle the
whole time. I feel like I did really well and I’m pretty excited about the way
Shipley said going against elite defensive backs like
Diggs has helped him realize that while he’s playing at a high level there is
still work to be done. Shipley said the one area of his game he’s trying to
work on in addition to the physical aspect is becoming an even better route
“I guess just trying to polish my routes more,” Shipley
said. “That’s not to say they were bad or anything, but I need to work on
things like head fakes and trying to trick the defenders and stuff like that.”
Now with the summer behind him, Shipley is now getting ready
for his final high school season and the expectations haven’t been this high at
Brownwood in quite some time. The Lions advanced to the regional semifinals
last year and lost a close ball game to Wimberley amidst some terrible weather
With nine starters back on each side of the ball,
Brownwood has been ranked as high as No. 2 in some preseason Class 3A polls and
many Lions fans are thinking this might be the year when the school wins its
eighth state title, which would end a 29-year title-less drought.
From the added bulk to the camp performances and the
7-on-7 success, Shipley has long been in the frame of mind needed to help
Brownwood get back to the to the top of the Texas high school football pecking
“Our whole offseason is based on winning, teamwork and
coming together,” Shipley said. “That’s really helped us a lot.”