RECRUITING: Russell Back From Orlando
LSU’s top recruit Russell Shepard back Under Armour Game in Orlando; gives insight on Debose situation
by Daniel Mingea III
Tiger Rag Recruiting Analyst
CLICK HERE to read Mingea’s recruiting blog at NOLA.com.
Over the weekend Orlando (Fla.) served as host for the 2009 Under Armour All-America game.
It was a venue whcih featured some of the nation’s top high school football talent including LSU’s own Russell Shepard.
Shepard’s name was undoubtedly the biggest heading into Sunday’s showdown largely due to the fact he was recently named as ESPN.com’s top prospect. Shepard returned home to Houston on Monday afternoon and TigerRag.com caught up with the Cypress Ridge High School product for an update.
“Outside of the turnover, I was pleased with my performance,” Shepard stated. “I thought we had a good first drive. We drove down the field and set up a field goal attempt, but unfortunately we missed it. Then I think during my second series at quarterback was when I threw the touchdown pass to Andre (Debose) and then the third was the turnover, and then the fourth I ran it in for another score.
“Overall I think the only person that played better than me was the other team’s quarterback, Matt Barkley,” Shepard humbly admitted.
Both Shepard and Barkley started the game for their respective teams, however the team’s rotations varied. Barkley served as the quarterback for the entire first quarter for his squad while Shepard rotated-in just about every third series.
“The coaches between the teams decided to do things differently I guess,” Shepard said. “My coaches tried to do it the fair way by rotating the quarterbacks after ever possession. I guess Barkley’s coaches felt he was his team’s best quarterback and they decided to let him play a little more.”
Like the quarterback rotation throughout the game, there was also a rotation of announcements. During the game several of the players revealed what university they would be attending. One of which was Seminole High School product Andre Debose.
“I wasn’t disappointed with Andre’s decision,” Shepard claimed. “Right after he made his announcement he came over to me and talked to me about it. I know he still plans on talking to coach Miles and I believe we are still in it for him. It is not over yet.”
Like many of the athletes at the Under Armour combine Debose showcased his speed as he was on the receiving end of a 92-yard touchdown pass from Shepard. The five-star quarterback claimed he could sense the difference in talent from the first snap of the game.
“There was a big difference in that game as compared to the ones I played in during my season,” Shepard confirmed. “There were guys that were 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-5 out there who could run a 4.8-second 40. So that was a major difference. With that said, I felt like I was still faster than everyone out there.”
One player was able to catch up to Shepard’s speed, however.The only problem was their meeting came a little late. Shepard’s cousin Craig Loston was flagged for delivering a late hit out of bounds.
“That’s football,” Shepard responded when asked what he thought of the hit. “That’s a part of the game. I’m not in high school anymore.”
Note: Shepard intends on enrolling at LSU within the next 3-4 days. He will be rooming with Drayton Calhoun, Dexter Pratt, and Kevin Minter. Check out the TigerRag blog on Wednesday at NOLA.com for more news on Shepard.