September 28, 2008

Shepard takes in Tigers' win

Houston (Tex.) Cypress Ridge quarterback Russell Shepard is already a fan favorite in Baton Rouge, so when he attended LSU's game against Mississippi State on Saturday he received celebrity treatment from fans. How did things go for the five-star prospect?

Shepard wasn't just in town to take in a good game and show support for his future teammates. He was, as usual, helping the staff recruit some of the top prospects in the country. That's become somewhat of a part-time volunteer job for Shepard since committing to the Tigers back in March.

"The game went real good," Shepard told after the game. "I got to sit with the three cats from Sanford and we just talked a lot. I didn't get to see Rueben (Randle) but it was a real good atmosphere and there were a lot of good kids. I talked to Coach Miles a little bit and I talked to a lot of players before the game. It just felt like home, man. We walked on the field and everybody shouted my name. To have everybody recognize you like that is nice. It feels good to be acknowledged.

"It was good to talk to Andre (Debose), Ray Ray (Armstrong) and Dyron (Dye). I think they felt really good about it. They enjoyed themselves. They would use the word 'we' a lot. Looking at the three schools all of them like, I feel good about things. Miami is still kind of rebuilding and Florida lost to Ole Miss today, so I feel like we have a real good chance to get all three of those guys."

It wasn't the last trip of the year to Baton Rouge for Shepard. He plans on being at two more LSU games and maybe more.

"I'm definitely going back for the Georgia game," he said. "I'm looking to go to the Alabama game, too. I know Xavier Su'a Filo is going to be there for that, so I'm going to go hang out with him at that game.

"I've talked to Rueben some lately and I want to get up with him. Trent (Richardson) tried to make it down but he wasn't able to. He was real excited about the game, though. I talked to Jamarkus McFarland and he wanted to come down but he had a game at 6 o'clock. The next time I come up I'm going to bring him with me. I've talked to Craig Loston too, and he's doing pretty good. He's real excited about coming."

With all the upsets taking place early in the season a lot of the debate over the nation's top team has centered around schools like Oklahoma and others. Shepard believes in spite of LSU's lofty ranking the Tigers are flying under the radar, but he doesn't think that will last.

"LSU is going to get overlooked because people don't see them as having a premier quarterback," he explained. "I feel like Jarrett Lee is doing amazing. He's getting more and more comfortable in that position as the number one guy. The better he gets and the more recognition he gets, the more people will start to talk about LSU."

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