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Sterling Shepard Blog: First taste of the NFL

Posted May 25, 2016

Throughout the season, Rookie WR Sterling Shepard will check in with Giants.com and provide an inside look at his journey of making it in the NFL:

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard was born to play football.  The son of a Super Bowl and NCAA champion, he followed his father’s footsteps to a standout career at the University of Oklahoma before being selected by the New York Giants in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. In his latest entry, we pick up with the Sooner after a trip to Los Angeles for the Annual NFLPA Rookie Premiere…

My original thought going out to the Rookie Premiere was it was going to be easy, just take a few pictures, sign a few autographs. But you really work out there. It’s a full day.

You wake up about six o’clock, start off taking pictures, meeting a lot of different brands. I think I signed about 4,000 total autographs and you have to somehow fit that into your schedule and then just try to manage spending a little bit of time with your family that came out with you too. So it’s a pretty full day, but it was fun overall.

>> WATCH SHEPARD'S OBJ IMPRESSION

While I was doing that, it reminded me of the first autograph I ever signed. I was probably around seven years old playing little league football, and this lady came up to me after the game and asked me for my autograph. She said, “You’re going to be in the NFL one day.” I need to find that lady and see where she is because here I am.

I’ve gained so many friendships just throughout the draft process and I saw a lot of those guys at the Rookie Premiere. Corey Coleman, who was drafted by the Browns, is one of my good friends. There’s also Tajae Sharpe, Cody Kessler, and a number of guys who I can call close friends now. Paul Perkins is my boy too, and he was out in L.A. We were talking about his situation when we were out there. He just can’t wait to get back, but he’s got some school and stuff to finish up. He’ll be back here pretty soon.

OTAs started this week, and it was the first time going up against the vets. My first day was kind of rough, so I had to get my head back in it. It was just mostly because of the checks. There’s a whole bunch of checks and things like that that you have to pay attention to, which I’m kind of familiar to but not as extensive as what’s asked here. So that was the main thing. Vic also made me carry in his helmet yesterday, so I guess that was kind of “Welcome to the NFL, carry my helmet, rookie.”

>> HIGHLIGHTS FROM OTA PRACTICE

I had a lot cleaner second day, I would say. But I still have a lot of learning to do. Us rookies are just trying to pick up everything and get to moving at the same speed as the vets. That’s the biggest thing for us. A lot of the extra work is helping us out and just getting signals down and stuff like that.  That’s where Eli is just a very helpful guy, helping all us rookies to get better. He comes and sits by us at lunch to talk things over. If we have any questions, we can ask him. He’s doing a great job of leading us. I can’t thank him enough for that.

Stay tuned to Giants.com for more from Sterling, and don’t forget to follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @sterl_shep3.

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