Most Important Newcomers: 10 Brandon Sheperd

In this case the definition of a newcomer is a player either from the squad or brand new that has not played a regular role as either a starter, backup with significant minutes or a special teams contributor.

Having seen several summer workouts and visiting with sources as to how the summer has gone and what needs may be matching the positions where real talent and "Saturday potential" has been shown, I think I have a pretty good feel on the players that will be emerging in August that could lead to production in September, October, November and December.

No. 10
Brandon Sheperd, WR
6-1, 195, Soph.
St.Louis (Parkway Central), Mo.

Sheperd is one of only three players who makes our list that has any playing time in Division I football. The rest have not played at this level. Last season he came in and impressed with his speed and his athleticism, and that has not changed. Like all Cowboys that work in the offseason and summer, he has gained some weight, is in better condition, and might be a tick faster than he was when he reported last summer.

This is a young man who survived on his own attending high school classes in Stillwater to improve his transcript last summer in order to meet the NCAA initial eligibility requirements. He rode the bus to Stillwater and worked to pay his expenses while getting his academic work accomplished. That kind of sacrifice carries lots of weight with head coach Mike Gundy.

Once fall camp started last August, Sheperd let loose with his abilities. He finished the season with playing time in six games and one catch (against Savannah State) and a 26-yard kickoff return in the bowl game against Purdue.

He is primed for much more even though the receiver position is loaded with talent. Sheperd is at the X (wide) receiver and is behind Tracy Moore and Charlie Moore on the depth chart. He will play and needs to develop behind those two seniors as part of the receiver corps of the future.

His summer has been good as he plays mostly on the second team group but he makes catches, shows good hands and most important has a burst or explosion after catching the ball that will serve him well in creating big plays. He is a good talent that can really improve at a position where his improvement is vital for the not just this season but beyond.

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