Jordan Shipley speaks about how his faith has impacted his life


Andreina Velazquez

Former UT wide receiver Jordan Shipley, speaks Thursday evening at Hyde Park Baptist Church. He discussed his faith and how it has played a large role in his NFL career.

Alexa Ura

Jordan Shipley has a bared a number of hits during his football career that have kept him on the sidelines, but he said he continues to push through because of his faith.

Shipley, UT alum and Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver, visited Hyde Park Baptist Church Thursday evening to talk to a group about his faith and how it impacts his view on teamwork. Shipley was a two-time All-American receiver for the Longhorns, where he broke multiple records. He graduated in 2010 and was drafted in the third round of that year’s NFL Draft.

The Daily Texan sat down with Shipley for a Q&A about how his faith has played into his football career.

The Daily Texan: During your time at UT, you were well-known for both your skills on the field and how dedicated you were to your faith. How has your faith impacted your career?
Jordan Shipley:
I don’t know that it impacted my career. I think it impacted every part of my whole life and I think that’s why I am where I am at. I don’t think of it as something that impacted my career. I think of it as my whole life and I ended up where I’m supposed to be.

DT: During your speech, you said you were very hard-headed and that God helped you set your priorities straight while dealing with your injuries. Did you place your faith in God during those moments?
Yeah, that was kind of a time where I thought I was going to come in to play right off the bat. I felt like I was able to play, but like I said I had two years in a row during which I couldn’t do anything. I feel like that was a time where I learned a lot and kind of helped me figure out who I was a little bit more.

DT: I’m sure everyone wants to know – how is your knee doing?
It’s doing good. I’m pretty much healed. I’m running around and lifting weights. I’m almost ready to go.

DT: You led a different lifestyle in college than is expected from a star football player. Mack Brown was quoted saying you and Colt McCoy were what every parent wanted their children to grow up to be and that you set a new standard for the college football player. Do you feel this is true about the life that you led in college?
I’m living the same lifestyle now. I wasn’t really trying to. I was just trying to be myself, but there are a lot of players that will take a stand on their faith. That just shows you that most of those players are not defined by what sport they’re playing. Football is not just who they are.

DT: You said you maintained the same lifestyle, and now you are in the national limelight and have kids that look up to you as a role model. Has this reinforced your current lifestyle and helped you maintain your beliefs?
I think part of that is that you know you have a lot of people watching what you do. Then you’ve got the media side of it on top of that. You have to be very careful to keep being the person that you are especially, in public. [My lifestyle] is real for me, and it doesn’t change either way. I do think that you’ve got to be cognizant that you’ve got younger kids watching what you are doing.

DT: Who has been a key spiritual influence in your life?
Oh man, a lot of people. Early on, it was my granddad and my dad. As I got older and moved away, different preachers and my wife made a big impact.

DT: What are some of your best memories from your football career at the University?
I have a bunch of good memories, but the 2008 Oklahoma game is probably one of my best memories. And when Hunter [Lawrence] made that kick to go to the national championship was a good one too. It was great to be able to play at the national championship.

Printed on Friday, March 30, 2012 as: Shipley combats setbacks through faith