Russell Shepard burst onto the college football scene in October 2009 against the Auburn Tigers when he broke a 69-yard touchdown run that served to ultimately be the icing on the cake for LSU's 31-10 victory.
Tiger fans had high hopes for Shepard, as he was one of the most highly sought after recruits in the nation, and had wished for a moment like this—one that could hopefully signal the emergence of somebody special.
Unfortunately, 2010 was a fairly disappointing year for Tiger fans patiently waiting to see Shepard explode onto the national radar and build upon his incredible breakout.
Last season didn't start off so bad. In the season opener against the University of North Carolina, Shepard scored early on a six-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Jefferson, and later broke free on a rushing play for a 50-yard touchdown, getting Tiger fans excited again about the WR's potential as well as for the rest of the season.
In the second quarter of the second game vs. Vanderbilt University, Shepard took the ball in for a touchdown on a 30-yard rushing play, showing his ability as a rusher to take it the distance at any time.
Unfortunately for Tiger fans, that was the last of Shepard’s scoring for the 2010 season.
The Tigers’ inability to move the ball through the air caused Shepard to only see the ball 29 more times in the passing game and just 26 more times on the ground.
After a brilliant start to the season, Russell Shepard’s spark seemed to have fizzled.
Enter Steve Kragthorpe as new offensive coordinator for the Tigers.
Kragthorpe, as well as head coach Les Miles, made it pretty clear this spring that Shepard will get his touches in 2011.
A player with his playmaking ability needs to get the ball early and often, and that is exactly what happened when the LSU offense took the field in the spring game.
With an improved passing game, Shepard should get more opportunities to shine in 2011.
He will be opposite Rueben Randle at wide receiver in the Tigers offense, and should have the opportunity to work against teams’ No. 2 cornerbacks on most occasions.
No cornerback in the SEC has the speed to stay with Shepard, so he should have open looks on a fairly regular basis.
The question just becomes whether or not the LSU quarterback (whoever that may be) can get him the ball.
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