Inside Texas Blog: Following the Shepard

Russell Shepard exploded onto the recruiting scene and now holds over 30 offers. But after he was offered by Texas, some comments from Shepard on whether on not he'd be allow to compete as a quarterback caught the attention of many Longhorn fans. IT's Jared Gravette, who's been closely following Shepard's recruitment, gives his take on the situation and the criticism the Cy Ridge QB has received.

Oh how the tide has turned. At the beginning of the year, Texas fans were crazy about the possibility of landing Cypress Ridge quarterback Russell Shepard. But now that Shep's junior day visit has come and gone without a commitment, some Longhorn fans do nothing but bash him, and I just don't get it.

First of all, people need to realize that Russell Shepard is only 17 years old and must make a decision that affects the rest of his life. He is forced to juggle school, football practice and their social life with mountains of recruiting letters and phone calls. Some kids don't deal with the process very well, but not Shepard. He takes everything in stride.

I have been covering Shepard's recruitment since last March, almost an entire year now. I've talked to him at least a dozen times and he has always been straight-forward and honest with me. He's not tight-lipped like a lot of kids these days. A lot of kids are also tough to get a hold of. They don't answer the phone or return messages, but not Shepard. He is the most accessible 5-star prospect I've ever come across.

Shepard has shown love for the Texas program from the beginning and I truly believe that he wanted to be a Longhorn. I personally can't blame him for wanting to look around. He has over 30 offers. This is his decision and he should be able to choose the place that is best for him without getting flack from people that don't even know him.

The most common thing I hear from Longhorn fans that read Russell's journal entries is that he doesn't seem like a ‘Texas kid.' To me, this couldn't be farther from the truth. Shepard knows that he is good, but he definitely doesn't have an ego problem. He is a team player and doesn't focus on individual performances. In fact, he talks up his teammates more than himself sometimes.

Another thing that I've been hearing is that Shepard doesn't have the confidence to play quarterback at Texas. To this I ask, how can a kid have an ego problem and lack confidence at the same time? That just doesn't make sense. All he wanted was an opportunity to compete, and he obviously feels like he wouldn't get that at Texas. I personally think Shepard would feed off the opportunity to compete against Garrett Gilbert for the starting job at UT. He isn't afraid of competition.

Let's let Shepard make his own decision. The decision that's best for him, where he can excel and make an impact at the position of his choice.

Shepard is a good kid with a bright future in front of him, and I wish him nothing but the best on the next level.

What do you think?

Horns Digest Top Stories