Russell Shepard Giving LSU Fans Hope for Years to Come

James W. FontenotContributor IJanuary 12, 2009

With the number one dual-threat quarterback in the Nation enrolling at LSU today, it is giving Tiger fans a lot of excitement to land a top prospect like this. Russell Shepard, who is preparing to step on the practice field for the Tigers in the spring, is very excited to compete for the job. This he told to the Advocate newspaper in Baton Rouge.

For Tiger fans, they haven't seen a big-time recruit like this sign with LSU since the troubled Ryan Perrilloux did in 2005. Something tells me that Shepard won't follow in his predecessor's footsteps.

Shepard, a 6'1" freshman, should be implemented in the offense right away. He runs a 4.4 forty and brought his high school program from nothing to something in his tenure at Cy-Ridge High School.

If you don't think the kid can play quarterback...then listen to these stats: As a senior Shepard rushed for 1,946 yards with 28 touchdowns and threw for 1,843 yards and 20 touchdowns with only four interceptions.

Some are calling him the next Percy Harvin, and some even the next Michael Vick (without the dogs). When the reporter asked Shepard about being the next Percy Harvin, he was ecstatic and said that it would be awesome, but I think he will stay at QB. 

Shepard is well known in the community for his leadership abilities and his recruiting efforts that helped LSU sign his first cousin, safety Craig Loston.

What does all this mean for the Tigers? Well, it's pretty much self-explanatory. He can run faster than some running backs and he can make big throws.

I expect Les Miles to immediately let Shepard run some pistol and some wild Tiger. He will also mix up the tempo and keep the defense on their toes whenever he comes in to give Jordan Jefferson a break.

The only question marks for Shepard have been his arm strength and him not being a true quarterback and just an athlete. But with LSU's playmakers, coaching, and Shepard's athletic ability, he should turn into a scrambling quarterback with a stronger arm and have the ability to throw the deep ball.

Defenses are going to have lots of trouble trying to tame this Tiger. He is the type of game-changer LSU needs to rally around right now. I see LSU using Jefferson and Shepard to lead them back to where they were in 2007 when they won their second national title.