In summer 2003, Jordan Shipley, senior receiver for Burnet High School, committed to Texas.
Shipley was a four-star recruit who held nearly every Texas high school receiving record. But few could predict that Shipley’s commitment would have a profound effect on the Longhorn program for roughly the next decade. After six seasons, Shipley left his mark as arguably the greatest receiver to ever play at Texas.
Roughly a month after Jordan exhausted his collegiate eligibility, the Longhorns received the commitment from his brother, Jaxon Shipley, who, at the time, was a junior at Brownwood High School.
Now Jaxon Shipley, set to play his final game at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Thursday, acknowledges the end of his collegiate career as the end of an era.
“It’s going to be pretty sad, especially for me being around here pretty much my whole childhood — watching my brother play and then me coming through here,” Shipley said.
Jaxon Shipley knew he wanted to follow in his brother’s footsteps to Austin since Jordan’s early playing days at Texas. Growing up around the football program made some game-day routines very special for him.
“I still remember the first time I came out of the tunnel against Rice, and it was surreal,” Shipley said. ”It was amazing. It’s the same way every time I walk out; it’s just this awesome experience.”
The Texas faithful will remember the Shipley brothers for their steady hands. Those hands have led to prolific production in their careers, as the brothers currently sit at first and third places on Texas’ all-time career-receptions list.
Despite playing with four different starting quarterbacks in his career, “Mr. Reliable,” as head coach Charlie Strong calls Shipley, enters Wednesday’s game 25 receptions away from placing only behind his brother.
Both brothers wore number eight during their careers on the 40 Acres — just another connection between the two receivers that Jaxon Shipley relishes.
“I couldn’t have planned it any better,” Shipley said. “Me being able to come here [to] the same school my brother came to. Me being able to wear the same number he wore.”
However, the brothers are not the only Shipleys to be associated with Texas football in recent years. In 2013, their father, Bob Shipley, served as a football analyst for the Longhorn program.
Jaxon cherished being able to spend so much time with his father last season and knows how fortunate he was to have the opportunity.
“It was really cool to be able to have my dad up here and just know that I can just walk into his office anytime I want to talk about something,” Shipley said. “It was a really cool year and something I know, [for] both of us, it’s a year that is really special to us.”
Now Jaxon Shipley prepares to finish a chapter of his life, and, with it, the Shipley chapter of Longhorn football. And while his teams never were as successful as his brother’s, the younger Shipley has created plenty of memories.
“I’ve just had a great experience,” Shipley said. “It’s been rough here and there, but overall, I wouldn’t trade if for anything.”