Posted by Chip Patterson
UPDATE: The suspension and Shepard's eligibility for the West Virginia game were confirmed by Michael Bonnette, LSU's SID, on Thursday.
After uncertain compliance issues held LSU wide receiver Russell Shepard out of the Tigers' opener against Oregon, local reports suggest the talented wide receiver is serving a three-game suspension and will return for the Tigers Sept. 24 matchup with West Virginia.
Sources have confirmed to both The Times Picayune and the Associated Press that Shepard's punishment for violation of an NCAA rule will be three games, including the opener against the Ducks. Shepard jeopardized his eligibility by discussing the details of an NCAA investigation with teammate Craig Loston. The investigation was centered around the infamous Will Lyles, who was paid by LSU - along with Oregon, Cal, and others - for recruiting services.
The touted junior will be an immediate upgrade to the Tigers' offense, which currently lacks that big-play threat that you would want on a National Championship contender. Everything else about the Tigers' performance on Saturday suggested that they deserve to be in that discussion, but there was not evidence that the offense is prepared to put up points quickly. Getting him back for the trip to Morgantown to face Dana Holgorsen and the high-powered West Virginia offense could end up being a difference-maker in an otherwise trap-game scenario.