North Carolina has established quite a pipeline to national football power Buford (Ga.). During Saturday’s Fedora’s Freak Show, UNC laid the groundwork to continue that pipeline with Brett Shepherd.
“Ah man, the Freak Show was awesome,” Shepherd said. “That was my first time ever participating in a college camp like that and it was great competition. Every player there brought it.
“The campus was beautiful. Everybody seemed real legit about things and they were up front with you. I enjoyed it.”
Since the 2012 class, UNC has signed three prospects – Nathan Staub (2012), Mikey Bart (2013), and Nick Polino (2015) – out of Buford. Shepherd and Polino were teammates on Buford’s 2014 GHSA 4A Championship squad.
“Polino has talked to me about North Carolina a couple of times,” Shepherd said. “I didn’t really know Nathan or Mikey, but while I was up there I got a chance to talk to Nathan. He kind of told me a little bit about the program and what it was like.
“It definitely had an impact. Anytime that you have somebody that you’ve played with or somebody in a program from your school, it makes things easier. You know you have somebody that will show you the ropes.”
Shepherd plays tight end, Wildcat quarterback, wide receiver, defensive end, and outside linebacker for Buford. The 6-foot-3, 209-pounder is being recruited as either a tight end or outside linebacker by the 17 schools that have offered him.
Central Florida, Iowa, Mississippi State, Missouri, UNC, and NC State are a sampling of the schools that have offered.
UNC, which offered early in the Spring Evaluation Period, sees Shepherd as a tight end. Thus, that’s the position he preformed at during the Freak Show. That meant he worked out under the guidance of Seth Littrell.
“He’s a good guy, he’s a funny guy, but when it comes time to get out on the field he’s serious about going to work,” Shepherd said. “He seems like a really good coach. We’ll be in touch throughout the next couple of months and we’ll see how it goes.”
Before the Freak Show officially began, Shepherd met with Littrell in his office. There, Littrell presented film and discussed UNC’s tight end depth chart and how Shepherd would fit into the Tar Heels’ no-huddle, spread offense.
“It looks like a great offense – as far as for a tight end,” Shepherd said. “They like to get their tight ends in space and let him make plays. But then at the same time come down on the line-of-scrimmage and play smash mouth football.”
With regards to recruiting trips, Shepherd has yet to visit a school outside of N.C. – his two others trips were to East Carolina and NC State. That will change soon, though. He hopes to travel to Central Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Purdue, and Virginia Tech by the end of the summer.
“I don’t really have a set top group of schools,” Shepherd said. “But UNC and NC State, I really liked both of those schools. They both had beautiful campuses and good coaches.
“I’m kind of eager to get out to Missouri and UCF to see what they have to offer.”
Shepherd’s goal is to have a firm top five schools list by the end of the summer. He’ll then make a verbal commitment after taking official visits.
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