Those expecting to see cornerback Tee Shepard make an impact with an FBS college football program will have to wait at least another year.
On Tuesday morning, the former Scout.com 5-star prospect announced his decision to return to JUCO football and forego signing next month via his official Twitter page:
That comes as disappointing news to the teams pursuing the 247Sports composite No. 17 overall-ranked JUCO prospect. His list of suitors included USC, Ole Miss and Oklahoma, among others.
Shepard originally enrolled with Notre Dame in 2012. However, academic issues forced him to leave soon after.
Instead, the Fresno, Calif., native landed at Holmes Community College in Mississippi.
In nine games during the 2013 season, Shepard recorded 54 tackles (2.0 for loss), two fumble returns and one interception. He ranked fifth on the team in total tackles and tied for first in fumble returns.
It appears Shepard has already enrolled at his new school. However, he plans to keep his location on the down low for now:
GM! 1st Day of School...Lowkey ain't telling nobody about this new school I'm at...just watch me be… http://t.co/DNleOzg367— Tee Shepard™ (@TeeShepard1) January 13, 2014
While there’s nothing wrong with blazing your own trail, it’s hard not to think about what could have been for Shepard.
It wasn’t too long ago that he was a highly touted prospect coming out of Washington Union High School. According to 247Sports, he was the composite No. 51 overall-ranked player in the nation and No. 3 among cornerbacks.
Shepard had offers from 13 schools, including Alabama, Auburn, USC, Notre Dame and Oklahoma.
For now, he will remain among the JUCO ranks. But you can bet that once he decides to make the jump up to the FBS, the demand will still be there.