JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — Marble Falls High School senior lineman and tight end Hanner Shipley signed his financial aid package to play football for Louisiana State University on Aug. 1.
Shipley is on course to graduate high school in December and plans to enroll at the university for the 2015 spring semester.
Shipley, who committed to LSU on Jan. 8, had options at other places but chose the Tigers for many reasons, he said.
“The facilities there are nice, the fans are awesome, the coaches,” he said. “I developed a really good relationship with my tight ends coach.”
That coach, Steve Ensminger, visited Shipley in early May for the start of spring football. Because of a coaching change, the Mustangs cancelled spring ball. But Shipley asked his teammate junior quarterback junior Brennen Wooten to throw passes to him that day.
That reason was one of many for the closeness between the player and the coach.
“I like the way he coaches,” the tight end said. “He tells you what you do wrong. I love the passion that surrounds LSU. I love the campus.”
The 6-foot-5, 283-pounder said he looks forward to getting a jump on his college degree as the new year begins. He believes participating in spring football will give him an edge for the 2015 season.
The son of Ashley and Stephen Shipley said he plans on becoming a high school teacher and a coach if he is not playing pro football.
By signing with the Tigers, Shipley breaks the recent tradition of his family donning the burnt orange and white for the Texas Longhorns.
Among those in attendance for his signing was cousin Jaxon Shipley, the son of former Burnet High School head coach and athletic director Bob Shipley. Jaxon Shipley is a starting receiver for the Longhorns, following in the footsteps of his big brother, Jordan Shipley, who also played for the Bulldogs.
“I knew they would support me wherever I went,” Hanner Shipley said. “There was that pressure of playing (at Texas) because I felt like I was breaking the family code. My cousins have supported me the whole way through it. Jaxon was so proud of me.”