Thiebaud on Shepard: ‘You'll see a new guy'

Cy Ridge's Russell Shepard is one of the premier quarterbacks from the Class of 2009. After a successful sophomore season, he has gained plenty of Division I interest. But this summer he has worked hard on becoming a better all-around quarterback. Both Cy Ridge coach Gary Thiebaud and Shepard discuss the progress made by the Rams' leader.

Cy Ridge quarterback Russell Shepard had a very busy, but yet productive summer. Between camps, weight training and drills, and summer school, Shepard has put in the work to make himself a better signal caller. And who knows better than his high school coach.

"He has really developed as a passer," Cy Ridge coach Gary Thiebaud said. "He is grown up a year with a year's experience. He has made some progress and next season you will see a new guy."

Shepard ended last season with 1,454 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns. He also threw 775 yards and four touchdowns. Even though he is a dual-threat quarterback, Thiebaud said that Shepard looks better completing a larger range of passes from last year.

"We always knew he could throw deep," Thiebaud said. "But now he is throwing better routes. He is doing the things to become a complete QB."

And that is exactly what Shepard has spent three months doing. He devoted the first month traveling to various football camps. Next month, he decided to enroll in summer school, and the last month he spent hours in the weight room and doing passing drills.

But according to Shepard, the passing drills have been a non-stop routine the entire summer.

"I was throwing four times a week twice a day," Shepard said. "Once the football practices started, I was on 3-a-day workouts. My goal was to throw 500 balls a day."

Shepard was taking summer school classes because he plans to graduate from high school in December of 2008 and enroll early to his college of choice. And he will have plenty of them. To date, he has offers from Arkansas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Minnesota.

But here recently, he actually pulled in another.

"Since the last time we talked, Iowa has offered me also," Shepard said.

Shepard and the Rams team open up season play against Cinco Ranch Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Berry Center.

This story was originally published on Texas Prep Insider.

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