Badgers Offer Top JUCO DB

A former five-star recruit coming out of high school, Goodman (MS) Holmes Community College cornerback Tee Shepard is proving this season that he can still play football at a high level, which was one of the reasons Wisconsin recently extended a scholarship.

One of the stars on the defense for Wisconsin this year has been true freshman cornerback Sojourn Shelton, one of several young defensive backs contributing early to the Badgers' secondary.

With head coach Gary Andersen looking to add more players who can come in and play right away, the Badgers have been active on the junior college route, and targeted one of the top defensive backs in the country in Goodman (MS) Holmes Community College cornerback Tee Shepard.

"One of the Wisconsin coaches got a hold of my number and called me one day," Shepard told BadgerNation. "I guess they had been watching my highlight tape because they liked the way I hit, move and cover. They really liked my highlight tape a lot. They just said they wanted to offer me and I was just surprised because coming out of high school I never talked to Wisconsin. They really surprised me and I talked to some of the coaching staff. It was cool to land the offer and I was pretty excited.

"I didn't know they were interested in me until they called me, but I watched them play a couple times. They said I am right in their backyard and they can't let me go."

The 6-2, 193-pound Shepard is a former five-star prospect and No.3 cornerback in the class of 2012 who has dealt with plenty of turmoil in his career. He had to sit out his senior season after transferring high schools, but still signed with Notre Dame over numerous scholarship offers.

He never played a down for the Irish, as he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA after there were issues with an online course. Shepard sat out the season to reclaim eligibility and headed to Mississippi.

Having recorded 32 tackles through seven games this season, Shepard has regained the attention with over 14 BCS offers, and has plans to check out Wisconsin.

"I'm excited because whatever school I decide to go to, I will play right away," said Shepard. "A lot of (teams) need guys that can step up and make an impact. I am not exactly sure when I want to decide. It will be a tough decision for sure. I want to go where I fit the best.

"Of course, I plan on going to check out Wisconsin. I will probably plan all my visits soon and I will take a visit to Wisconsin. I will probably try to call them and try to set that up. I want to visit Ohio State, Oklahoma, West Virginia and really any school that offers me. I am going to pick my best five out and go from there."

Many programs are going after the highly talented defensive back, especially Shepard has proven that he still has plenty of skills on the football field.

"The season is going great," said Shepard. "From not playing in two years, I am having a great season. I am at one of the top JUCO colleges in the country being here in Mississippi. I face some of the top wide receivers and I have been shutting them all down. I don't know if they are scared of me or what, but I am shutting it down when it comes my way.

"I feel like my abilities have gotten a whole lot better. I just want to thank Wisconsin for giving me an opportunity and will take a trip to go check them out and see what they are about."

Shepard is on track to graduate in May 2014 and will have three years to play three.

- Benjamin Worgull and Annabel Stephen contributed to this report

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