Shepard Goes In-Depth

Russell Shepard didn't make it back to Austin on Saturday, instead heading to Baton Rouge for an LSU Junior Day. The 5-star quarterback raved about his trip and talked about a big change in where LSU stands in the grand scheme of things.

Some guys do not know what they have until it is gone. However, some guys see what they want and go after it. Russell Shepard (6'2.5, 195, 4.44) knows what he wants and will not let up until he achieves it.

"My visit to LSU was good," Shepard stated. "I do not really look at it as a Junior Day because I was there for so long and I was able to see everything. I consider it more as an unofficial/official visit.

"I plan on graduating in December so education is very important to me," Shepard added. "The first thing I did when I got to LSU was meet up with the head of the Marketing department. I plan on majoring in Marketing and Communications. We talked for a good 45 minutes to an hour with not one word about football. I know football will not last forever and I have to have a plan for life after football."

After the Marketing sit-down, the dynamic quarterback carried his business to the head of the football department and sat down with Head Coach Les Miles.

"In the beginning of the day I was kind of separated from the rest of the pack and coach Miles and I spent a good bit of alone time together," Shepard said. "After the meeting I was very impressed with coach Miles and LSU," Shepard continued. "Going into Saturday LSU was low on my list, but now they are hands-down my number one team."

The Cypress Ridge High School product said LSU was the total package for him. The university offered him as many avenues for life after football as it did for life during it.

"Sometimes you just have to see it for yourself," Shepard explained. "I could come in and be an immediate impact on the team. To have the opportunity to become a starter on a team that has won 2 national titles within the past 5 years says a lot. LSU is also in the SEC and a lot of quarterbacks in the SEC do not even get a chance to start until like their junior year anyway, so me having to wait until my sophomore or junior season would not be a problem for me. Other big-time programs like Michigan, Texas and Florida are recruiting me pretty hard as well, but besides Michigan, the other two teams have a lot of depth at the quarterback position," Shepard stated."

The focused student-athlete claimed it was more than just the depth that impressed him. It was the mindset behind the play calling as well.

"It is not that I am afraid of competition either, it's just that I prefer LSU's style of offense. The LSU quarterbacks are not known for running too much or throwing too much. They do just enough of both while putting up good numbers in each category. LSU is fit for the new age of quarterbacks. I like how coach Miles and coach [Gary] Crowton aren't afraid of taking chances either.

"I really like coach Crowton," said Shepard. "He is a good coach. He has a lot of experience too which really impressed me. He coached in the NFL, a few college teams and did a really good job with Oregon and its quarterbacks. It is important to me to have a good relationship with the quarterbacks coach and the offensive coordinator especially if I want to play in the NFL one day because those are the guys that will help get me there. I want to come in and pick at their brains and get into their heads and just learn everything. Those coaches will basically be my two best friends for the next four years."

Knowing where he will spend his next four years is a question's 5-star recruit will have an answer sooner than most of the other recruits.

"I plan on graduating from high school in December so I will have to make my decision quicker than some of the other guys," Shepard informed. "Right now besides LSU being at the top, the rest of my top teams in no order are Texas, USC, Florida, Michigan and Oklahoma. Over the summer I plan on taking visits to Florida, USC, Michigan and Oklahoma. I can go to Texas anytime since it's pretty close to home.

"I want to have my decision made by either early September or no later than mid-October," Shepard added."

Shepard has found a location that seems to be like a "part II" to a movie. Only it is not a movie, it is his life.

"Going to LSU would be like going to my other life," Shepard said. "I have relatives in the area that live in the same neighborhood as coach Miles. My girlfriend also attends LSU and she is majoring in Marketing which I also plan on majoring in.

"Some might think my girlfriend would be a distraction for me, but she wouldn't be," Shepard concluded. "Me going to any school would be a distraction in itself, but (Mary Ann) Wilson shares my dream with me. I am a very disciplined person and she knows I have goals and she is willing to help me achieve them. The LSU coaches even used her to their advantage. She went to every coaches meeting and every academic meeting with me. We went everywhere together on Saturday, from 7:30 A.M to 7:30P.M."

Note: As a Junior, Shepard earned All-District honors and in some publications he was listed as a Junior All-American. He was also named as the All-Area (Houston) quarterback. Shepard maxed out in bench at 275lbs. and in squat at 420lbs.

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