Not since Tim Tebow has the impact of a player been anticipated like Russell Shepard. Like Tebow, you have a player who is impossible to keep off the field.
That is where the comparison to Tebow ends and the comparison to Percy Harvin begins. The speed and agility of Russell Shepard dictates that you get him the ball in the open field.
Football has evolved over the years. Starting with the first forward pass, Notre Dame Box, wishbone, run and gun, and spread option to name a few.
The new evolution is the hybrid running back. The style in which the New Orleans Saints use Reggie Bush is setting a trend. Percy Harvin will be used in the same mode when he arrives in the NFL.
This is where you will see Russell Sheppard come in. The Tigers have a playmaker in Sheppard. You will find shortly that LSU will take a page out of the Saints playbook.
Like Bush, putting Sheppard in the slot back position will stretch the defenses to the breaking point.
Florida last year found a way to put in their freshmen playmakers, it forced teams to decide who to defend.
LSU has an astute offensive mastermind in Gary Crowton. He will find a way to spread the ball around, which will sound the death bell on the opposing defenses.
The addition of Shep on the field will cause a matchup nightmare for defensive coordinators. That will get Shep a lot of playing time.
If any team can match up with Florida in personnel, it’s LSU. Add to the mixture LSU’s new defensive coordinator, who has had a lot of success in the pass.
It turns the LSU vs. Florida matchup into a pick 'em game. It is now Urban Meyer’s chance to try and stop a Percy Harvin-type player in Russell Sheppard.