Posted by Bryan Fischer
One of the big names at this past weekend's Stanford Nike Camp was Fresno (Calif.) cornerback Tee Shepard. One of the top players in the country and a natural at corner, the five-star player was among the best at his position during individual drills.
Once 7-on-7 began at the camp however, the 6-foot-1, 190 pounder started walking to over to the other sideline and received reps at wide receiver. Although Shepard plays both positions in high school, a few observers thought it was a bit unusual for him to flip to offense all of a sudden. Turns out there was a legitimate reason.
"I had a little injury in my shoulder so I couldn't really play DB," Shepard said. "I just played receiver and I did alright. I wanted to play wide out because that's what I was talking about all week with the coaches. I was like, 'Hey coach, maybe I can play receiver instead of DB.' He said that was a good idea. So I was just out here having fun."
Shepard exceeded expectations at both positions, blowing by opposing defensive backs using his speed and managing to get the better of most of the competition. Although he's firmly committed to the Fighting Irish, several schools have been by Fresno Central High to see how he does on the field and a few won't give up recruiting him despite his verbal commitment.
"As you know I committed to Notre Dame. But USC has been by and they said they're going to recruit me hard," he said. "I'm going to have to keep them off me. It's going to be tough."
The first commitment for Notre Dame's class of 2012, Shepard has been committed to the school since early March despite not even seeing South Bend until late April for the annual Blue and Gold Spring Game. While it appears he's still a solid verbal commitment, he will be seeing other schools once fall rolls around.
"I'm going to take all of my (official) visits, all five of them," Shepard said. "I want to see other places I haven't been before in my life. I just want to see new things."
As for where the Tom Lemming Top 100 player will visit, Shepard wouldn't divulge many schools but did hint at a trip to Tuscaloosa to see the Crimson Tide.
"I don't want to visit any schools in California, I want to leave the state," he said. "Alabama was my second choice after Notre Dame. When I talk to them, I talk to everybody, not just one coach."
In the meantime, he's one of the Irish's West Coast recruiters, whispering in the ear of several top players and trying to get them to commit to Notre Dame. One of his top targets was also a top performer at the Nike Camp, wide receiver Deontay Greenberry, who just so happens to be his cousin.
"Oh yeah," Shepard said of trying to lure Greenberry east. "I committed to Notre Dame because they recruited me since May the 10th of last year. Ever since then, me and Coach (Mike) Denbrock have been getting real close. It got to the point where Notre Dame was my dream school. Plus I watched that movie, Rudy. It all really made me want to play at Notre Dame.
"I want to have Deonte just be at Notre Dame period. They need some wide outs plus that's my cousin so it would be so cool."
Notre Dame has one wide receiver committed for 2012 and Shepard is one of three defensive backs headed to South Bend next year.