A Perfect Storm

LSU's 2003 signing class featured one of the country's top quarterback duos in Scout.com 5-star prospect JaMarcus Russell and 4-star Matt Flynn. That crop of signal callers produced a BCS national championship for the Tigers and now there is another dynamic duo scheduled to be in Tiger Town with the hopes of delivering the same results.

Tupelo, Mississippi quarterback Chris Garrett (6-4, 220) gave Les Miles his verbal commitment on Wednesday, closing out the quarterback class alongside Houston-Cypress Ridge five-star Russell Shepard.


Shepard, a Houston native, was already battling talk of wavering from his decision and switching to Texas.


After Garrett’s commitment was given to Miles, rumors swirled that Shepard, initially offered a scholarship as an athlete to play wide receiver, was given the nod to be the quarterback of the Longhorn’s 2009 class.


Was that rumor or fact?


“All of it is just talk,” Shepard said. “Nobody really knew, but Coach [Mack] Brown offered me the quarterback position when I attended their junior day [Feb. 4]. If I wanted to be the quarterback at Texas, I had that chance.”


Though Shepard said that he was high on Texas in the beginning of the recruiting process his visit to junior day changed those feelings.


“I didn’t evaluate things correctly,” Shepard said of the quarterback situation at Texas. “They had a lot of guys at the position, and Coach Brown really wanted me to play receiver. Things just didn’t seem comfortable.”


Tiger fans are nervous over the fact that Shepard may end up changing his mind and going with the Longhorns but there may not be anyone more excited about his decision than the man himself.


“I’m so excited and happy about LSU,” said Shepard. “I can’t wait to get down there and I’ll actually be coming down this weekend and then next weekend for the spring game.”


At LSU, Shepard feels content in his role with the Tigers, especially with the addition of Garrett.


Though Shepard has only seen Garrett on film, the five-star wasn’t short on compliments for the Tupelo native.


“He is a big guy with a strong arm,” Shepard said. “I think that we will complement one another very well.”


In terms of getting onto the field at the same time, Garrett said that using Shepard’s athleticism split out wide would only produce positive things for the Tigers.


“It would be great to get into the game at quarterback and let Shepard line up at receiver for a play,” Garrett said. “I could see that being a call that goes for six.”


Garrett, initially a Mississippi State commitment, remains close to the Bulldog program. His brother attends MSU while his father serves as President of the university’s local alumni association.


How tough was it for the Scout.com National 300 prospect to change his colors from maroon and white to purple and gold?


“I was raised a Bulldog fan,” Garrett said. “But when Coach [Les] Miles offered me a scholarship at Junior Day, it was one of the best feelings I have had. I prayed on my decision, and I felt that I made the one that was best for me. I will love the Bulldogs except for that one game a year.”


With Garrett’s quarterback counterpart recruiting heavily for the Tigers in east Texas, the Tupelo quarterback said that he will be getting on the recruiting trail right away.


“I have met Ruben Randle, and would love to throw to him,” Garrett said. “I just have to get out and start getting prospects on board.”


Garrett’s wide receiver at Tupelo, Chad Bumphis (5-11, 185 pounds), is another player high on the Tigers’ 2009 board.


With offers from across the SEC, Bumphis’ decision remains in the air.


However, Garrett would not be shocked if his teammate and good friend decides to accompany him to Baton Rouge.


“Chad is his own person, so it is his decision to make,” Garrett said. “But let’s say it would not surprise me at all to see him signing with LSU.”

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