From the time I was in junior high school, I knew that sports writing was in my blood. It was as thick as the love for the University of Tennessee Volunteers and the Atlanta Braves.

When I had the opportunity to attend UT, I jumped at it, graduating from the Journalism school in 2002. I held internships at the Tennessean in Nashville and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. While I was in school, I covered the UT football and women's basketball team for the Chattanooga Times Free Press and the Tennessean as a correspondent, learning under the tutelage of ESPN college football writer Chris Low and Sports Illustrated college football writer Andy Staples. I was also the assistant sports editor at the school newspaper, The Daily Beacon.

After a brief stint in Clarksville (Tenn.) working for The Leaf Chronicle as the Tennessee Titans beat writer and high school sports editor, my wife and I moved to Chattanooga to work for the Times Free Press. I was there multiple years, covering everything from two Masters and U.S. Open golf tournaments to UT Chattanooga football and basketball. I also did some Southeastern Conference writing, which is sort of impossible not to do as a writer in this part of the country.

We moved back home to NASTy (North Alabama/Southern Tennessee) in 2006 where I assumed a regular 9-5 job. However, I wasn't able to get sports writing out of my blood. I started covering the Huntsville Stars, the Milwaukee Brewers' Double-A affiliate, for the Huntsville Times newspaper. While doing that four years, I also co-founded the blog site 3rd Saturday in Blogtober (3sib.com). It was one of the first rival sites of its kind, combining Alabama Crimson Tide and Tennessee Volunteers content. Following a run there, I spent 2 1/2 years at Rocky Top Talk covering Tennessee football and recruiting.

In my free time, I love spending time with my wife and 4-year-old son, trout fishing and golfing. I try to put God first in everything I do, followed by family and football. I really enjoy following the Tennessee Vols, Atlanta Braves, college football recruiting, Atlanta Falcons, fantasy sports, and PGA Tour golf, and I spend multiple hours daily listening to Son Volt, Uncle Tupelo, Jason Isbell, Jill Andrews and Sturgill Simpson, among similar others. It soothes my soul second only to catching a fish on a quiet mountain stream.

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  • A M posted 218 days ago

    A M

    Brad, the topic of player compensation keeps coming up, and very few people seem to know anything about cost of attendance - the stipend that goes with athletic scholarships. For the life of me, I can't figure out if a lot of writers are unaware of it or just like to write articles concerning controversial topics and ignore it. I suppose it's a problem fanning the flames about revenue windfalls and poor players if you happen to mention that players are, in fact, being paid. Two recent B/R report articles about SEC revenue and a pretty rude Colin Cowherd comment regarding paying players and MTSU never mentioned cost of attendance. I've commented and included published excerpts, but they seem to get deleted (maybe use of published material). Perhaps you might do a column about it because it sure seems to be one of the best kept non-secrets in history. INSIDE HIGHER ED (www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/08/12/colleges-inflate-full-cost-attendance-numbers-increasing-stipends-athletes) offers some interesting observation/speculation regarding recruiting and creative calculations. I've always enjoyed your articles, and I have a feeling you could write a pretty good eye opener for a lot of people.

  • Vegas Bmac posted 279 days ago

    Vegas Bmac

    Sounds good! Possible 8-4 season with only losses to likely Big 12 Champ, SEC Champ, SEC East Division Champ and likely second place SEC west division leader......one hell of a season looking back

  • Preston Yale posted 309 days ago

    Preston Yale

    Hey Brad,

    As I am sure you have seen in the last few days, the picture of Trevor Boykin with the young ISU "kid captain" before the football game last weekend has gone viral. As a result of this, a TCU blogger has created a crowdfund to support Abby Faber and her family as they get by paying for Abby's medical expenses, some of which--including therapy treating her vision--are not covered by insurance. She also has orthopedic procedures on both legs coming up in the next 2-4 years.

    I am writing to ask that the B/R community, whether it be you or another writer, post an article promoting the crowd fund for young Abby in the hopes that we can help her and her family as much as we can. The fund is circulating around TCU now, but with how viral the picture originally went who knows how far the crowd fund may go if it goes viral as well.

    Thank you for the consideration,


  • Brad Shepard posted 428 days ago

    Brad Shepard


    And Vegas Bmac, I'll take you up on the ACC some time!

  • Atlanta Hawks Fan posted 439 days ago

    Atlanta Hawks Fan


  • Vegas Bmac posted 461 days ago

    Vegas Bmac


    Your one of my favorite writers on here, I could be biased as a long time UT football fan. I also saw you enjoy golfing. If you are ever in Atlanta and want to play a round at Atlanta County Club drop me a line at mcelyea15@yahoo.com would be a blast and could have some good Tennessee talk as well.

    All the best,

  • Brad Shepard posted 504 days ago

    Brad Shepard

    I really don't know, Make Barners Cry. I apologize.

    As for you Steven Stanley, haha. I have a ton of connections, and I just left Knoxville a few days ago, so you lose.

  • Make Barners cry posted 510 days ago

    Make  Barners cry

    Brad, I was attempting to add you as a favorite writer, but when I click on the edit profile it doesn't seem to have a link (It does nothing) I would also like to remove a writer but seem unable to do that as well.

    Any thoughts, or who could I contact?

  • Steven Stanley posted 522 days ago

    Steven Stanley

    You just wrote an article about Tennessee Football titled "Hot Seat" where you named 5 Tennessee football players as being on a Hot Seat. Where do you get your information? You're Nuts! And You Are completely disconnected from the program. This article shows how little you really know about Tennessee Football. You should stop writing about Tennessee Football all together.

  • J D posted 667 days ago

    J D

    If two or four teams from One conference OR ANOTHER think they are DIVINELY APPOINTED to PLAY in the NC GAME and DENY all other worthy TEAMS a chance, then it is TIME for a little March Madness in the world of college football. Lets have a REAL PLAYOFF and call it December MADNESS. And a $BILLION in travel and TEAM revenues.

    Here we go again. College foot ball fans MEEKLY accepting the NONSENSE put out by the MEDIA that a REAL football playoff of 32 teams is IMPOSSIBLE, too burdensome, or TAKES too much TIME from CLASS.
    Basketball does it with 64. College football can easily do it with a 32 team playoff. No more BITTER FANS screaming MY TEAM got LEFT OUT. Basketball has March Madness. COLLEGE FOOTBALL needs December Madness.

    ALABAMA in all its GREATNESS Lost a last Second STUNNER. Then the UNFAIR bullet or restriction BACKFIRED on them. Now they and about 30 or 40 or 60 other schools MUST SIT on the sidelines and Compete for LESSER GLORY than the NC TITLE. This is Totally Unnecessary and listen or read on :

    I thought America had no ROYATY. Prince William gets to be King of England by doing nothing. He was BORN that WAY.
    I think that Alabama is a Magnificent machine , a Great football team, but it has humans on its team. Humans Err. They are not Gods. No team Deserves the NC Game. You lose . YOU are out.
    The SEC IS a truly powerful Conference. Three years ago the BCS robbed Oklahoma State which was 11-1 the chance to play in the NC TITLE. REmember They were 11-1. Alabama was awarded the game against TWO LOSS LSU.
    Nothing FAIR ABOUT THAT. Oklahoma State Would have been CHOSEN in a real Playoff. OKLAHOMA UPSET Alabama last year. In a continuation of Genuine PLAY They WOULD have met Florida state. TREVOR KNIGHT against the Seminoles. Do you like the ODDS.
    NO BCS. No 4 TEAM Playoff. But a 32 Team or 64 TEAM Playoff can work. Here is how:

    First, Leave all FBS teams with the Fun and Reward of Playing the 30 plus Bowl Games. And 4 PLAYOFF BOWLS would be used on Jan 1 each year for the Elite 8 CFB playoff BOWLS.
    And A $BILLION IN PLAYOFF MONEY In Gate receipt$, Hotel, tourist MONEY, Sueveniers and TRAVEL for the cities and Teams involved.

    A Simple Guide by J D
    FACT: There are always 13 SATURDAYS in the 92 days of September thru November.

    STEP ONE: Require all teams to finish their 12 GAMES by the END of NOVEMBER. There would be TIME for ONE OPEN DATE . Or TWO using the LAST SATURDAY in AUGUST.
    STEP TWO: Have an NCAA selection committee PICK the TOP 32 Football Teams: FOUR Divisions would be set up:
    East, South, Midwest, West.
    Four Number One Seeds would be chosen in each Division and progressively on down: Number Two through Eight.
    SEED Number One would play Number Eight, Number Two plays Number Seven and so on.

    STEP THREE: SIXTEEN GAMES would be played ( 32 Chosen Teams) on the First Saturday in December. The SWEET SIXTEEN winners would play on the second Saturday in December.
    STEP FOUR: The Elite Eight Winners are in the HIGHEST FOUR BOWLS called CHAMPIONSHIP BOWLS and would be played on New Years Day.
    STEP FIVE: The FOUR QUARTER FINAL TEAMS play their TWO GAMES on January 8 or later.
    STEP SIX : THE FINALS: 2 WINNERS would play a week later near January 17 for the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.
    Conclusion: Only FOUR TEAMS would NEED to PLAY past the HOLIDAY Weekend of January the 1st. And the REST of the TEAMS could GO BACK TO their Studies and Classes.

    Also: The 30 plus BOWLS are kept . The LOSERS in the FIRST or SECOND Round can PLAY again in any BOWLS but the FOUR CHAMPIONSHIP BOWLS and win and rejoin the Top Twenty five.

    Remember any team LOSING in the FIRST or SECOND WEEK of the Playoffs could STILL be INVITED to ONE of the 30 plus bowls.
    IF TEAMS THINK They are the BEST, then let them PROVE IT on the Battlefield of Play. ONE team out of the 32 Teams chosen will win 5 games in a row and be true National Champ.!!!

    Thanks for reading . My main concern is that somewhere, somehow, in my lifetime an Unfair 4 TEAM Playoff will be abolished. Every 8-3 team in the top 40 or 65 Teams will have respect and a chance to win it all.
    This will bring in $1 BILLION dollars or more to the Teams and their Schools.