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OSU Signee Jonathan Shepherd Talks Summer Prep, Uniforms and Gundy



High school is wrapping up and in a couple months the Class of 2022 will begin arriving on campus. That includes incoming freshman players like wide receiver Jonathan Shepherd.

He took some time to talk with us about what receivers coach Kasey Dunn has him working on this summer, his soon to be roommates C.J. Moore and Spencer Sanders, what he’s most excited about doing when he arrives in Stillwater, and which uniform combo he’s looking forward to wearing the most.

Phillip Slavin: What led you to choosing to play for Oklahoma State?

Jonathan Shepherd: “Just going up there for the environment. Talking to coaches, and also going to the camp. I loved the way they encouraged their players to help them do better and achieve their maximum potential. Plus, it was such a family oriented place. So being up there, it was just really really nice.”

PS: If you had to compare your game to another wide receiver, who would that be?

JS: “Mine is kind of a mixture. Because I like to watch Odell Beckham, because I like the way he is creative in what he does, and how he notices defenses and coverages. But I would say I like to compare my work ethic to Chad Johnson, or a.k.a Ocho Cinco. Anything he does, he always tries to overcome whatever is going on.”

PS: What has receivers coach Kasey Dunn been talking with you about?

JS: “Really just to try my hardest and keep working. To keep catching balls every day. But also to keep working and that he’d see me this summer. We’ve developed a good relationship over time, talking about our likes and dislikes, and what to do for this upcoming season.”

PS: What’s your impression of Coach Dunn?

JS: “He’s a fabulous man to me. He’s always encouraging, always talking someone up to be their best. That’s what I appreciate about him as a coach.”

PS: So what is he having you do to prepare before camp?

JS: “It’s something that’s called a clock drill and then catching 100 balls a day. During the clock drill, you’re just throwing the ball around in a circle so you know how to place your hands and how to catch stuff. And then 100 balls, everyday if possible. You gotta get the work in some kind of way.”

PS: So what are you doing to prepare to make the transition from high school to college.

JS: “Just being mentally prepared really. That’s the biggest thing. I’m always going up, figuring out what to expect from the others that have been in that environment. So just talking to them a lot is really what’s been helping me.”

PS: You’ve met Coach Gundy? What’s your impression of him?

JS: “He’s a very, really relaxed man. My best word for him, to be honest, is chill. He’s very down to earth and he will always tell you what’s real. Most people that I’ve met seem to beat around the bush. With him, he’s always talked to me straight up about what to expect or what to do.”

PS: OSU lost a lot of big name receivers, but still has some solid depth at the position this season. What do you think you can bring to the position and the team as a whole this year?

JS: “My prayer is just to be a helper. Honestly, as long as the team is winning and we are successful while I’m there, that’s what my goal is. When I’m called, I’ll do what’s needed, and just be productive in what I’m supposed to do.”

PS: Have you had a chance to talk with some of the other commits in your class?

JS: “Yeah, the quarterback, Spencer, and the other receiver C.J. We talk, we’re gonna be rooming together. So we’re keeping base with each other just to see how we’re going to get along with each other and how to act and behave around each other. It’s been kinda cool getting to know each other.”

PS: A lot of former players who were roommates and friends have formed great relationships both off and on the field. What do you think about the potential relationship you can build with CJ and Spencer, and the impact that could have on your performance on the field?

JS: “I honestly think it’s going to be a very good relationship. Because whenever we need to go out and practice, we feel like we want to just go throw routes, we’ll have that kind of connection, being there together. Being able to go ‘ok let’s go work on what we need to work on.’ Or if you have a game where we didn’t like what we did, we can have that communication where we just look at each other and have the same mindset, the same page. Just, being on one accord. I just think that’s going to really help the team out a lot, and hopefully it does.”

PS: What are you most looking forward to about getting to college?

JS: “Just to be on campus and figuring out what’s going on. As soon as I get down there, just to be with the whole team. And the first practice. I feel like putting on a new color jersey will be a really surreal feeling for me.”

PS: Speaking of jerseys, which OSU combo — helmet, jersey, and pants — are you most excited to wear?

JS: “To be honest, mine, because the school I was at we didn’t have all black uniforms, so that’s the one I’m looking forward to wearing the most. All black just excites me for some reason. It’s the way it looks, it looks dominating. But if I had to choose two, I would choose that and all white. Those two, and the way they look, to me are just wonderful.”

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