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Sunday, February 3, 2013
OU's Shipp makes impression on 2014 DT

By Brandon Chatmon

Oklahoma fans have been quick to point the finger at defensive tackles coach Jackie Shipp as the Sooners watched Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball) and several other top 2013 defensive tackles decide to play their college football elsewhere. Yet, Sooner Nation could be singing a different tune as OU’s Class of 2014 comes together.

Shipp has made a terrific early impression on Zaycoven Henderson (Longview, Texas/Longview) by fulfilling a simple request from the 2014 defensive tackle during OU's junior day on Saturday.

“We had a conversation about academics,” Henderson said about their conversation early last week. “He told me when I got to Oklahoma, he would have all the information I need. When I got there, he had it right in his hands.”

It surprised Henderson, who had expected Shipp to be too busy to follow up as OU’s 2013 signing class is being finalized.

“He had everything [I asked for] and more,” Henderson said. “That was a big thing for me because I have to trust you to be around you and open up to you."

Henderson is the lone uncommitted defensive tackle offer in the Class of 2014 and was the lone defensive tackle at junior day.

“I was like, ‘Where’s everybody else at?’ ” Henderson said. “It kind of made me feel special.”

So special he wanted to commit?

“It ran across my mind a lot when I was there but I’m going to weigh my options,” he said. “But Oklahoma is No. 1 in my mind right now.”

Suffice to say it was a good junior day visit for Henderson as he spent time with Shipp and head coach Bob Stoops. He also got a good feel for the program.

“Everybody had something good to say,” Henderson said. “It’s like a family and that’s what I like. I want to go somewhere where you’re not just treated like a player. I want to be somewhere where I can be coached and treated like family, by someone who I can maintain a relationship with.”