Committed Over: Dominic Sheppard committed to Wisconsin over offers from Alabama, Boston College, Cincinnati, Clemson, Florida Atlantic, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Louisville, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, South Florida, Syracuse, Tennessee, UCF, Vanderbilt and West Virginia.
Rated: Sheppard is currently ranked a three-star prospect and the No.61 outside linebacker in the country by Scout.com.
On Film: Sheppard is a kid with good size and length. He's 6-1/215 or so and has a chance to develop into a much bigger player down the line. By no means is he skinny or slight. Sheppard is already put together pretty well.
Sheppard doesn't shy away from contact and at times is a very physical and sound inside linebacker. He's at his best between the tackles and moving down hill. He's not going to be a kid that blows you away with a combine 40 time, but he shows good football speed between the lines. I like how he works in traffic. He can identify and diagnosis plays pretty quickly and get to the ball. When he gets to you Sheppard can strike you.
Sheppard is a bit stiff and it shows in his transition in coverage. But he does seem to be more and more comfortable playing the pass once he turns his hips. It wouldn't surprise me to see him end up on the outside. I like the way he can get off the ball and attack the line of scrimmage. That, combined with his length and football speed, could make him an effective pass rusher off the edge in college. – Florida Recruiting Analyst Jamie Newberg.
Recruiting Impact: Of the last nine commitments the University of Wisconsin has accepted, four have been from linebackers, which does include defensive end Nate Howard, who could play that important hybrid role in UW’s defense based on how he develops. It’s been a key position of focus for Wisconsin and the Badgers have brought in a large amount of quality players since June 12, and Sheppard could be the best of the bunch.
UW will likely try to take one more linebacker in the 2015 class. Of the offered players, Daniel Fennell, Jordan Griffin and Osa Masina seem to be the most interested in the Badgers. Fennell has talked about visiting Wisconsin, Griffin has scheduled an official visit for the fall and Masina – a five-star prospect – has the Badgers in his top five.
Quotable: “I was weighing my options and was keeping track of what colleges were really talking to me and which ones were saying they were really liking me, and Wisconsin kept standing out. Not many schools have been hitting me lately besides Wisconsin. They kept me informed that I was on top of their board. I really like the program and so I came on board.” - Sheppard
Final Thought: A player with versatility, length, strength and speed, Wisconsin landed a gem in Sheppard, but will have to fight hard to keep him with that large offer list. Sheppard kept the door open for other visits, but has a strong relationship with wide receivers coach Chris Beatty and will take an official to UW in October. Remember that Wisconsin had to fight hard for Jeremy Patterson and Krenwick Sanders, but built strong enough relationships with both of them that both canceled officials to Florida the weekend before signing day.