<
>

Texas' Jordan Shipley ranks as Big 12's No. 18 player

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

No. 18

It only seems like sixth-year wide receiver Jordan Shipley has been catching passes since James Brown was throwing them for the Longhorns.

Actually, Shipley's injuries caused him to miss the 2004 and 2005 seasons. He emerged after those nagging injuries last season, blossoming into one of the Big 12's most consistent deep threats and a clutch returner who might have saved the Longhorns' season with his dramatic kickoff return for a touchdown against Oklahoma.

After sitting out the spring after shoulder surgery after the season, Shipley should be back ready and healthy for his senior season. A big finish could enable him to finish his career as one of the Longhorns' career leaders in most receiving categories.

That is, if he can stay away from injuries.

Player: Jordan Shipley
Team: Texas
Position: Wide receiver/kick returner
Vitals: 6-foot, 190 pounds; Sr.; Burnet, Texas

Why he was picked: After struggling with injuries most of his career, Shipley blossomed as the Longhorns' leader in all-purpose yards last season, producing 119.2 yards per game. Shipley snagged 89 receptions for 1,060 yards and a team-leading 11 touchdown receptions. He also made history as the first player in school history to score touchdowns by reception, kickoff return and punt return in the same season. But he is most widely known for his season-saving 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Oklahoma, which turned momentum around after the Sooners had jumped to a 14-3 lead early in the second quarter. Shipley is one of the most versatile members on his team as a kickoff and punt returner and a holder on all of Texas' placements.

What 2009 will hold: If Shipley can recover from his shoulder surgery, he could develop into one of the nation's biggest receiving weapons. It will be up to him to emerge as Colt McCoy's prime target this season after sharing the role with Quan Cosby last season. If McCoy and the Longhorns are as prolific passing as last season, it's not out of the question that Shipley could potentially catch 100 or more balls. That kind of season would be pivotal in the Longhorns' hopes at making their first Big 12 championship game appearance since 2005. And it would also cement Shipley's place among the top receivers in the school's history.

The countdown:

19. Oklahoma RB Chris Brown
20. Nebraska I-back Roy Helu Jr.
21. Texas Tech DT Colby Whitlock
22. Kansas WR-KR Dezmon Briscoe
23. Oklahoma DE Jeremy Beal
24. Kansas S Darrell Stuckey
25. Texas Tech RB Baron Batch
26. Kansas QB-WR Kerry Meier
27. Texas T Adam Ulatoski
28. Oklahoma State LB Andre Sexton
29. Missouri G Kurtis Gregory
30. Missouri RB Derrick Washington
31. Texas Tech LB Brian Duncan
32. Texas S Earl Thomas
33. Kansas State WR-KR Brandon Banks
34. Oklahoma LB Keenan Clayton
35. Baylor S Jordan Lake
36. Oklahoma State CB-KR Perrish Cox
37. Texas C Chris Hall
38. Texas Tech DE-DT McKinner Dixon
39. Kansas State DE Brandon Harold
40. Oklahoma FB Matt Clapp