Scout.com Rating: Three-Star
Scout.com Rank: No. 25 Offensive Guard
Size: 6-foot-4, 310-pounds
Hometown: North Gwinnett High School
Projected Position: Offensive Guard
Stats: Shepherd had 104 pancake blocks as a senior.
Commit Date: 3/9/09
Recruiting Competiton: UAB
Why Alabama: "I fell in love with Alabama when I visited them. I just wanted to make sure, so I took some other visits (UAB, UCF, AU, and FSU). But I felt the same way after that. I knew I wanted to be a part of the Alabama program. I have always wanted to play in the SEC, and Alabama will make me the most successful.
"Coach Pendry has told me with Mike Johnson leaving, he wants to play left guard. That's where he wants to try me at first. I have played every position in high school. I love coach Pendry. He's an awesome guy and a great coach. He's been a very successful coach everywhere he's been. He spent 20 years in the NFL, so he knows what it takes to get there. It's my dream to play in the NFL, and he can get me there."
Strengths/Improvement: "I am physical and nasty, and I love to mix it up. I love the trenches, and I love the battle that takes place there. I like to dominate people inside."
Coach Quotes (Head Coach Bob Sphire): "Austin's more tactical, physical, more of a mauler. He's more of a drive blocker. Austin's someone you want to run behind in short yardage situations. With his size to go with his quick hands and footwork, he could play either guard or tackle at college."
Andrew Bone says: "Shepherd plays with a mean streak. He is an outstanding run blocker who plays with an attitude. He is an intense player and very good at drive blocking."
Richard Stover contributed to this report.
"I like to dominate people inside."
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