IE Take: Tee Shepard

Tee Shepard is the first verbal pledge for the Class of 2012 and Notre Dame fans should be excited. Here is Irish Eyes' take on the first member of the Class of 2012.

Starting where they finished in the state of California, Brian Kelly and his staff picked up the verbal pledge of 4-star defensive back Tee Shepard out of Fresno (CA) Central High East Campus.

What To Like

At 6-foot, Tee has the height you want to see from a top-notch corner. However, with his physical length, Shepard has the tools to play corner or safety. The biggest physical skill he has is the ability to flip his hips and his ball awareness.

What May Concern You

At 175-pounds, Tee will need to add some bulk and strength in the coming years to help him battle bigger receivers that are more physical. Some question his tackling ability but from the film, I have watched he shows the ability to wrap tackle, but lacks the physical strength to power tackle. This will be fixed in the Irish strength program.

Bottom Line

Many felt an offensive player would be the first to jump on board the Irish Class of 2012. However, after building a strong defensive class in 2011, Brian Kelly and his staff continue to show they know long-term success is needed on the defensive side of the football.

Shepard has all the tools you want from a top-notch defensive back as he could line up at safety if needed. Look for his Notre Dame career to start as a corner and one who should be counted on to compete early for reps on the field.

Irish Eyes will have a more in-depth breakdown of Tee Shepard coming soon. Top Stories