Kelvin Sheppard may be the type of linebacker that you can put in your program for three or four years and truly develop into a dominant football player. Standing 6' 2" ½ and weighing in at 222 pounds, Sheppard's 4.6 only lends to the idea that he could be a rather imposing weak side man or even a big, bad man in the middle if his eventual coaches so desire. He reports a 305 pound bench press, a 415 squat and a 280 pound power clean to his credit.
During his junior season for Stephenson High School, Sheppard racked up 106 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, four sacks and two interceptions as a linebacker but doubled as a tight end in the offense and had 14 receptions for 142 yards and three touchdowns. Sheppard was named First-Team All-County and was named the county's Player of the Month for October. He currently has offers from Nebraska, Tennessee, LSU, Southern Miss, Tulane, Kentucky, Ball State and Maryland along with solid interest from Georgia and Louisville. He claims no current favorites and cites his strengths as his athleticism, his sideline to sideline roaming ability, his knowledge of defenses and his ability to read off immediately.
Sheppard and his teammate Jermaine Cunningham are going to be quite busy during the next month or so. Both young men plan to attend a camp at Nebraska along with seven on seven passing camps at Auburn (Next Saturday), Tennessee, (June 10th) and Georgia Tech (Date yet to be determined). In terms of who is recruiting Kelvin the hardest these days, it appears to be a three-way tie at this juncture. "It'd either be Ball State, Maryland or Nebraska. The Ball State sends me all the time. The Maryland coach, I talk to him about every week. The Nebraska coaches, my dad spoke with Coach Callahan and they spoke for about an hour,' said Sheppard.
So with Kelvin's father speaking to Coach Bill Callahan for a decent amount of time, what does Kelvin think of the Cornhuskers in general? "Right now, they're in my top four or five because the academics out there are also good," he said. Sheppard is thinking about majoring in sports management at this time. He also mentions that he feels he could be a very valuable prospect for Nebraska from day one. "If I was to commit there that I believe I could step right in and make an impact on the team," he said.
Kelvin reports that Nebraska's correspondence with him has been steady and that he receives both informational and handwritten letters, the former detailing the school and campus in general. As for the handwritten letters, "They say they can't wait until I visit this summer and they're very excited about me," said Sheppard. When looking at a school like Nebraska, Sheppard has three main things on his mind. "I'm looking at the atmosphere of the school, academics and the coaching staff. I want a big time football atmosphere, 100% support out of everybody in the city. With the coaching staff, I have to be able to relate to them as not only a coach but a person," he said.
Having already visited Auburn unofficially, Sheppard plans to take tours at both Nebraska and Tennessee when visiting for camp. Kelvin also went into some of the schools that have visited to evaluate he and his teammates. "Florida State, Tennessee's head coach, Florida's head coach, Oklahoma's assistant coach, Kentucky, Arkansas, Alabama, Nebraska, of course, Georgia, Georgia Tech's head coach, Ball State and Vanderbilt are some of the schools," he said. Sheppard reports that, on average, his school sees visits from about four colleges a day.