Cougars land a Shipley of their own

Total Blue Sports has been covering Wilsonville High School wide receiver Tanner Shipley for quite a while now. On Thursday, he received a BYU scholarship offer and quickly committed.

At 6 feet 2 inches and 185 pounds, Tanner Shipley is regarded as the top receiver in the state of Oregon next season. Possessing top-end speed with a reported 4.5 forty, Shipley put his skills on display for BYU's coaches during this week of camp.

"I came out to camp the other day and had a bad first day," Shipley said. "I wasn't expecting anything big because I wasn't feeling good. The next day I got my body back and got back the next day. I really felt good with my performance and then today they pulled me into the coach's office and offered me.

"Coach Mendenhall really laid out the whole scheme of what BYU football is all about and how it molds people. There are a lot of great things built into the program on top of football and that's what I wanted. It was such a good feeling, I couldn't see how I could not commit. I had a great feeling about the school and how it's going to help me become a better person and achieve all my goals."

Receiving a BYU scholarship offer came somewhat unexpectedly for Shipley, who thought after a bad first day that his opportunity had flown out the window.

"That first day I didn't play the kind of football that I know I could play," Shipley said. "I had been to a lot of football camps and was really busy. It kind of took a toll on my body and I just don't think I was ready that first day here.

"I felt better the next day and went out and played some football. I went out and did what I knew I could do after feeling a lot better. I don't know what it was that first day, but it wasn't good. On the second day [on Wednesday], that's when I played really well in the camp scrimmage and scored a couple of touchdowns."

But even on the second day, Shipley wasn't able to show his full abilities to the Cougar coaches.

"The quarterbacks that were throwing to us during the seven-on-sevens weren't doing that well and it was really tough to show the coaches what I could really do," Shipley said. "It was really tough during the seven-on-seven. That's when my boy Dallin [Leavitt] told the quarterbacks to move aside and he took charge and led us to a commanding victory. He took over as our quarterback and that's when we lit it up.

"He was able to throw me the rock and we picked up seven touchdowns right after that in the game. It was a great experience and I was glad that I was able to show the BYU coaches that I could be that dominant receiver when I have the chance."

"The first day I was playing wideout and our quarterbacks couldn't throw the ball past 20 yards," said Leavitt, a BYU safety commit. "I just said, ‘Screw this, I'm taking over and throwing the ball.' I talked to Tanner and we would just read the safety, so I would just send him on an option or a post or corner route and he gets that safety's hips turned around and break it to the outside deep. I literally just looked at him the whole time and threw bombs to him over the top. We scored seven touchdowns and won the seven-on-seven tournament to take the whole thing."

After a dominating performance, Shipley was then called in to meet with Coach Mendenhall.

"The coaches told me that they didn't want me to leave without me first having a scholarship," Shipley said. "I was really appreciative of that and I hope to make a big impact here at BYU. I think my biggest attributes are being able to get off the line and creating separation in short routes or a go-to guy that can stretch defenses deep. If a big play is needed, I'm that guy the quarterbacks can go to."

"Tanner has the size and speed to really make it tough for defensive backs and safeties," said Leavitt. "He proved that after beating everyone deep all day long."

Leavitt is considered one of the top safeties in the state of Oregon, and if there is anyone who knows how good Shipley, is it's him.

"Yeah, I knew what he could do and so that's why I wanted to get him the ball," Leavitt said. "It was kind of funny because after we scored that first touchdown, the quarterbacks wanted to come back in and take over. That wasn't going to happen and Tanner just went out there and got the safeties and DBs all turned around and dominated."

"We practice a lot together and do a lot of one-on-ones," Shipley said. "We go to camps a lot and when we do we're always competing a lot against each other. We're always making each other better by competing against each other."

Last year Cougar fans became familiar with another Shipley after BYU lost a close game to the Texas Longhorns on the road in Austin. Four-star wide receiver Jaxon Shipley, a 6-foot, 170-pound athlete with 4.55 forty speed, saw action against the Cougars as a true freshman. He caught three passes for 39 yards, in addition to rushing the ball a few times and throwing a key pass late in the game.

Shipley is the younger brother of Jordan Shipley, the Longhorns' all-time leader in receptions.

Now BYU has a Shipley of their own in Tanner Shipley, who is actually related to the Texas Shipleys.

"We're cousins, and when I was younger I was watching [Jaxon] play and my grandpa told me that we were related. I know he's doing a great job over there at Texas, but now BYU has a Shipley too.

"I just want to make some noise over here at BYU like he's doing over there. I want to strive to be great my whole life. I just couldn't go wrong, so I made the decision to commit to BYU and be a champion forever. That's what BYU is all about. It's about not just being a champion on the football field but a champion for the rest of your life."

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