Brandon Sheperd pushing double-digits
"Iowa was the first school to offer me," said Brandon Sheperd. "Missouri, Michigan State, Kansas State, Illinois, Minnesota, and Indiana have offered me. I'm hearing a lot from Oklahoma State, Cincinnati, Nebraska, and USC. I've only taken three visits, so far, to Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa with my head coach, Mark Goldberg."
Shepard was 3rd team All-State and 1st team All-Conference as a junior. He made 20 catches for 450 yards and six touchdowns. He also played defensively at free safety.
"I love to play wide receiver," Shepard said. "I work hard in the off-season at wide receiver. I think I have the skill set to play the position in college. That being said, if a program I really like offers me as a defensive back I'm not going to let that get in the way of a great opportunity. Missouri and USC like me at free safety, but the rest of the schools are recruiting at wide receiver."
Many Kansas State fans may remember standout offensive lineman Ryan Young, a product of Parkway Central, from the teams of the late 90s. Coach Snyder is back and expressing heavy interest in bringing in Sheperd.
"It was about a month ago when I called Coach (Mo) Latimore, and he told me they really want to see me in a purple jersey," Sheperd said of the offer. "Kansas State has a good program. I just have to see how I'd fit in and help the offense. I like their receivers coach, Michael Smith. I'm planning on making a visit to Manhattan to get a better feel for the overall athletic department and university."
The Parkway Central Colts got off to a fast start in 2010 at 6-1, but lost their last three to miss the playoffs. They only lost two of their starters, so a big season is expected in the fall.
"I'm going to try to lead the team and get everyone to play as hard as they can," Shepard said of his senior season. "We've got some guys with talent, and I'm going to do my best to help them get scholarship offers both on-and-off the field. We were young last year, but this year we're loaded. We got a really good quarterback coming in who's going to be one to watch."
Sheperd is making return trips to both Iowa and Indiana for camps. One might conclude they are in the driver's seat, but Sheperd says he's not ready to name any favorites.
"I'm keeping my options open," Sheperd stated. "I want to go to a school with a winning tradition. One that excels academically, and I can get a good job with my degree after I'm finished playing football. I'd like to play for coaches who can teach me from experience. I want to feel comfortable with the coaches. I'm hoping to go somewhere close to home."
Sheperd ran a 4.46 40-yard dash this past February in St. Louis at the Show-Me Combine put on by Elite Football Academy. He competes in all the sprints and jumps in track & field for his high school while he prepares for his senior football season.
"Last year I think I blocked better than I had before," Sheperd said. "My vision improved. In the off-season I worked hard on developing my skills, and you could see the progression in my game."
Part of Sheperd's summer plans include representing the St. Louis Rams in a 7-on-7 tournament in Florida with fellow St. Louis area prep stars, Jehu Chesson of Ladue Horton Watkins and Durron Neal of DeSmet.
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