UT Checks Out Cy-Ridge Spring Game

Cypress Ridge High School in Houston has a lot of young talent on their roster. Quarterback Russell Shepard is an amazing athlete, but even he knows that he can't do it all by himself. Shepard talked about his spring game performance and recruiting. One SEC school, in particular, has made a big jump during the last week.

"It went good," Russell Shepard replied when asked about Cypress Ridge's spring game. "Our defense gave a lot of new looks. They brought some new stunts, but we still put up numbers. We made some big plays. We are a big play team. The defense held us just under 50 percent on third downs. A 50 percent success rate on third downs is what we are shooting for this year."

Shepard knows that he is a talented young quarterback, but he doesn't hesitate to give credit to his teammates.

"Hasan Lipscomb) made some amazing runs. Brandon Smith), our wide receiver, made some big catches, and I made good plays as far as running and passing the ball goes," Shepard said.

Some thought that Shepard showed good athletic ability, but didn't get the protection he needed to take over the game. He was without a couple of his starting offensive linemen and had to adjust to the speed of Cypress Ridge's new 4-2-5 defense. Shepard is excited about his the new defensive scheme, because it allows him to get used to yet another defense system.

"Actually, a couple of our starting offensive linemen were out, but we still made big plays," Shepard said. "Our defense switched to a 4-2-5 scheme this year. We are coming from a 4-3 last year. Most of our competition in district runs a 4-3. It was good to see some different blitz schemes. We have a fast defense. We have five DB's out there that can run."

Schools have been flocking to Houston in groves to check out Shepard, Lipscomb and Smith over the last few weeks, but only two in-state schools made the trip to watch the spring game.

"Texas came down for the spring game and North Texas came down," Shepard said. "The day before Nick Saban and Major Applewhite came from Alabama. LSU came down two days ago and said they are recruiting me now."

As a matter of fact, LSU has made a big jump over the last few days. At last check, Shepard favored Texas, Florida, Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas A&M, but a shakeup in his list has three SEC schools inside his top four.

"I'm going to attend an evaluation camp at LSU. They are supposed to send the info before schools gets out," Shepard said. "Right now, Texas, LSU, Alabama and Florida are the schools that are looking the best. LSU has definitely made a big jump."

Shepard is also planning on attending Texas' one day camp on June 10th.

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