Sooner Snapshot: WR Sterling Shepard

As national signing day approaches on Feb. 1, Brandon Chatmon is breaking down every commitment and signee in the Sooners' 2012 recruiting class. View all of our profiles here.

Name: Sterling Shepard

Position: Receiver

Height, Weight: 5-foot-10, 185 pounds

Hometown/School: Oklahoma City, Okla./Heritage Hall

Committed: Feb. 28, 2011

Scout grade: 81. Four-star prospect.

Scout rankings: No. 60 in the ESPNU150, No. 9 receiver, No. 11 in Midlands Region, No. 1 in Oklahoma

Accolades: Under Armour All-American

Picked OU over: Oklahoma State, Clemson, Notre Dame, Missouri

State of the position: The Sooners need slot receivers, and more importantly, playmakers. Ryan Broyles is NFL-bound after catching more passes than anyone in FBS history. In the spread offense, receivers are like running backs, can never have too many.

Pros: “Has great focus, strong hands and his body control to adjust to poorly thrown balls (and he does this a lot) especially in the vertical passing game is extremely impressive. He can elevate, extend above his head and while he does not have great height, he plays like he does.” - ESPN analyst

Cons: “We still do not believe he has explosive, second gear speed yet no one seems to run him down. He is far more elusive than he is sudden, but will show a sneaky, very explosive burst after the catch and also out of the break as a route runner.” - ESPN analyst

Similar to/potential role: Trey Franks. Shepard would be ideal in a Franks-type role as a player who returns kickoffs and runs the ball on sweeps and quick passes. He also could be used to test the seams of a defense thanks to his ball skills and competitive nature.

Expected impact: 2012. His competitiveness makes it hard to believe he won’t find the field next fall. Shepard could provide a boost as a returner, receiver and be used in some special packages thanks to his running ability. Regardless he should help on special teams because he’s a great athlete who loves to compete, both traits of a special teams terrors. Shepard bulked up in preparation for college so a redshirt season is not required.