Arguably the most impressive detail to note on Shipley's camp performance was his incredible stamina -- apparent to everyone in attendance.
Simply put, the kid's a warrior. Case in point: Braving the Texas July heat, Shipley played both ways the entire game and throughout the tournament (8 total games, with about an hour of rest between the three Friday games and the same for the five Saturday contests), save for when the 3A Offensive Player of the Year busted his head open in a vicious collision late-Friday afternoon.
"Yeah, my wife had some of that New-Skin stuff and we slapped that on," said Burnet head coach and father Bob Shipley, before adding: "Basically, it welded the huge gash together enough to stop the bleeding so he could resume play."
And while the just barely 6-foot-tall receiver wasn't the only athlete playing both ways, he was the only one I know of to do so at the two most-active positions, WR/DB, and for the entire game. When you factor in the 100 degree heat and couple that with the fact he was chasing really quick/fast wideouts (usually, the team's No. 1 receiver) or trying to outrun the opposition's speedy group of DBs, you gain a clearer picture of just how eye-popping his exhibition truly was.
Wide Receiver: Shipley blew it up. Demonstrated superb route-running, excellent grabs, terrific speed, and big play capabilities despite running mostly underneath routes from the slot, occasionally slipping out deep.
Cover Corner: TheInsiders.com's No. 84th-ranked player in the nation was simply amazing. Basically shut down everyone he faced. Looked like a bonafide cornerback prospect. His hip fluidity, ability to change directions, and acceleration or catch-up speed were obvious. Kid could play the position and play it well on the big-time D-I level if that's what he'd like to do.
"Yeah, I've been playing DB for a while now," Shipley said, after we mentioned his natural instincts and abilities for the position.
So, could the Cen-Tex standout wind up on the defensive side of the ball on the Forty Acres?
Shipley said he's a wideout. That's what he likes the most, that's what he wants to play. And that's the position the Texas coaching staff will attempt to get the most production and utilization of the mad skills he possesses.
BOTTOM LINE: Shipley's a heckuva competitor. What you'd call a "gamer." In optimum shape. Very Lance Armstrong-esque in the "compete to win" approach he applies to the game. Last but not least, kid can flat out ball.