As a second-team All-American quarterback and one of the nation's top recruits in 2008, Russell Shepard was courted by such schools as LSU, Michigan, Texas and USC.
He was seen as a Michael Vick-type player given his blazing speed and athleticism.
But Shepard, who ultimately signed with LSU, has never played quarterback with the Tigers, despite their (ahem) questionable quarterback play. Instead, he's been a receiver.
Now, despite disappointing so far at LSU, Shepard is curiously deciding to enter the 2012 NFL draft with still one more year of eligibility with the Tigers, according to Pro Football Weekly.
Shepard had 14 receptions for 190 yards and four touchdowns for LSU this season. On top of that, he missed three games this season due to an NCAA suspension for impermissible benefits, which also could see him labeled with character concerns.
Should Russell Shepard have declared for the NFL draft?
I just don't understand Shepard's decision. He had 254 receiving yards and 226 rushing yards in 2010, so he obviously can do more than he did this season. And despite having a shot as a return man in the NFL due to his athleticism, Shepard returned just two kickoffs his entire career at LSU. There's not much of a sample size there.
I could understand if Shepard is frustrated not getting enough playing time with the Tigers. But why not transfer? Why not show NFL scouts what you can do with playing time?
He told Glenn Guilbeau, the LSU beat writer for Gannett, that he had to "...do what's best for my family and myself." But this doesn't seem to be helping himself out.
Shepard has the athleticism and speed to impress at the NFL combine, but his inexperience at wide receiver is glaring.
He even said himself a few days ago, via USA Today:
That's why my development at the position...it's been going but not as fast as people at times wanted it to go. They wanted to see me in the first game have 120 yards receiving...My upside is pretty good and I look forward to keep working.
Wouldn't he want to develop more then before the NFL?