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Tag:Tee Shepard
Posted on: December 22, 2011 10:10 am
 

12/22 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Despite a visit to USC, Deontay Greenberry and Tee Shepard are still Notre Dame bound.

 Georgia gained one recruit and lost another.

 Texas rarely signs JUCO players but grabbed two yesterday.

 Maryland keeps loading up on linebackers this class.

 Gene Chizik says Auburn is in great shape on the recruiting trail.

 Joker Phillips discussed recruiting at Kentucky for a bit.

 Plenty of Virginia and Virginia Tech recruits on this all-area team.

 Will a bowl ban affect Ohio State recruiting much?
Posted on: December 17, 2011 6:48 pm
Edited on: December 17, 2011 7:35 pm
 

ND commit Deontay Greenberry to visit USC

Posted by Bryan Fischer

CARSON, Calif. -- Fresno (Calif.) wide receiver Deontay Greenberry has drawn plenty of attention to himself over the years thanks to his offensive skills but late in the game Saturday - with his team's undefeated record and a state title on the line - his three best grabs might have been on the defensive side of the ball.

With Washington Union's offense slowed to a halt since the first quarter in the California Division III Championship game, Greenberry's fumble recovery, 4th quarter interception and onside kick recovery had just as much impact on the 21-16 final score than his early touchdown catch.

"I wasn't even supposed to play defense today because I had a minor shoulder injury," Greenberry said. "Coach just put me out there and I made some big plays. Defenses win the game and big ups to them."

The 6-foot-3, 187-pounder was naturally the focus of the opposing Campolindo defense for much of the day. He often had a safety over the top of him to prevent deep routes and was at the very least double teamed every time he was targeted. Despite all that, he established a new state-record with his 33rd touchdown catch of the season in the first quarter, soaring above two defensive backs to haul in a 26-yard beauty.

"That was my goal I set in the summer," he said. "I'm happy I achieved it. I wanted to break a state record."

Though the Notre Dame commit is in the Los Angeles area for the championship game, he will not be leaving with his team and will stay in the city as part of a last-minute official visit to USC.

"Tee (Shepard) said he was really interested in them so he wanted me to go out there and check it out," Greenberry said. "He graduated early and has one more trip left. He just wants to go out and take it."

A five-star cornerback also out of Fresno, Shepard sat out this season after transferring from Central East High to Washington Union but was in the stands to see his cousin, Greenberry, capture the title. Although it seems as though he is having second thoughts about the Irish, Greenberry was adamant that the two would be signing with the same school in February.

"Of course," Greenberry said. "No matter what."

Any doubts about going halfway across the country seem to lie only with Shepard. Greenberry has been very upfront with most of the programs that have offered him a scholarship that he will almost certainly be leaving California for school.

"Like I said at the beginning of my recruitment, I want to leave the state," he said. "That's where my mind is right now.

"It's not just Notre Dame, I just want to get away from home and experience new things. That's pretty much what I want to do."

Greenberry is still going to listen to what the Trojans and primary recruiter Clay Helton have to say during the visit a few miles from where he ended his high school career but he has given no indications that he will flip his commitment any time in the future.

"Right now I'm still solid to Notre Dame and that's where I'm at," Greenberry said. "Who knows (after the visit) but right now I'm solid."



Posted on: August 19, 2011 11:22 am
 

Notre Dame recruiting breakdown

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Notre Dame is 17th in the latest MaxPreps team rankings about halfway to Signing Day but Brian Kelly and staff have their eye on another top 10 class. The current group of 13 commitments is a bit light on linemen but more than makes up for that fact in the skill position department.

Defensive back Ronald Darby has high-end speed and can roam the secondary as either a safety or a cornerback. It might be tough to keep his commitment all the way through Signing Day but he's a five-star player who could come in and play early for the Irish. Cornerback Tee Shepard is a talented cover corner and was a top performer this summer at several 7-on-7 competitions. Shepard's cousin, wide receiver Deontay Greenberry, is also a great pick up for the staff and he can flat-out dominate at times.

The most recent commit is defensive tackle Sheldon Day and he's a big body on the inside but has the quickness of a defensive end. His first step explosiveness is much better than defensive linemen Notre Dame had been getting and he's an Indiana kid to boot. Others of note in this class include Nicky Baratti, who's a big safety prospect out of Texas, and outside linebacker David Perkins, who is a terror as a speed rusher off the edge. Justin Ferguson is a very good looking receiver who can matchup well against some physical defensive backs with his size.

The Irish still have plenty of time to add to their class of 2012. They are in the running for several top players, including big-time running back Keith Marshall out of North Carolina. Several other elite prospects have the Irish in their top five and with the season starting, a good start on the field for Notre Dame could pay dividends off the field. Though it is an away game, there will be a lot of eyes on the Michigan night game and there will be a ton of recruits from all over the country on the sidelines. A home game versus USC will also draw a lot of players that the Irish can impress.

Notre Dame has a solid but not elite recruiting class at the moment but there are several reasons why they are a class that could be on the rise.
Posted on: July 12, 2011 12:50 am
Edited on: July 12, 2011 9:49 am
 

The Opening: Top Defensive Performers

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Linebacker Kwontie Moore (Norfolk, Va.), committed to Virginia

Moore has great size for a linebacker and moved well side-to-side. He made one of the plays of the week when he took an interception at the goal line all the way back to the other end zone and outran some pretty fast offensive players. He's a steal for Virginia.

Linebacker Dillon Lee (Buford, Ga.), committed to Alabama

You wouldn't think someone could move as quickly and as fast as Lee, as big as he is, but his athleticism just jumps out as much as he jumps routes. He can stay with tight ends and even speedy slot receivers and cover a lot of ground. He's the perfect type of player who can drop deep in Tampa-2 coverage from the middle linebacker position.

Linebacker Keith Brown (Miam, Fla.), committed to Miami

Brown has the size and speed to be really good at the next level. It's surprising how rangy he is. He got to the flat quickly and was able to take away a lot of underneath routes just with his ability to quickly break on running backs and tight ends.

Cornerback Cedric Dozier (Lakewood, Wash.)

Dozier could have also played wide receiver and made this list, he's extremely quick and can really change directions in a split second. He likely could come in and play early at most programs at nickel back as he has what it takes to lock down opposing slot receivers.

Cornerback Tee Shepard (Fresno, Calif.), committed to Notre Dame

Like his cousin Deontay Greenberry, Shepard was dominant at times. He would get a little lackadaisical at times (one could interpret it as bored) and allow his man to get too far away from him before recovering. It's tough to get any separation from him when he presses from the corner position and he leaves little doubt he's one of the top defensive backs in the country.

Defensive back P.J. Williams (Ocala, Fla.), committed to Florida State

Williams is a smooth cornerback and plays the game effortlessly. He's got good speed and can hit that extra gear when needed. He's a ball hawk and just a really good defensive back overall who can play safety or corner if need be.

Defensive back Travis Blanks (Tallahassee, Fla.), committed to Clemson

If there was a ball in the air, chances were Blanks was around it. And if he wasn't picking them off, he was knocking them down. He nearly came up with four interceptions in his first game on Saturday and was just off the charts in terms of athleticism.

Cornerback Chris Bivins (Gainesville, Fla.), committed to USF

Bivins has done well on the camp circuit and showed he could compete with the best and the brightest at The Opening. He's someone who won't back down from anybody and sees the bigger receivers as a challenge. Aggressive and quick, he was really good breaking on the ball and deflecting it.   

Defensive end Chris Casher (Mobile, Ala.), committed to Florida State

During part of one-on-ones, Casher was pretty much impossible to block. He explodes out of his stance and got to the tackling dummy quicker than just about everyone. He can still add some weight but he has the frame to be a top flight end at the next level.

Defensive tackle Sheldon Day (Indianapolis, Ind.)

Day caught the eye of many with a great performance at the Ohio State Nike Camp might have been twice as good at The Opening. He was a beast up the middle on Saturday and could get around the lineman using either his strength or quickness. His first step is something that has plenty of programs excited about his potential.

Defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy (Monrovia, Calif.)

Day and McCarthy were 1 and 1a among the lineman all week and there were times you thought that McCarthy was looking like D-line coach Ndamukong Suh. The fact that he performed as well as he did on Saturday with a  bum ankle shows why he is the top guy at his position in the rankings.

Defensive tackle Korren Kirven (Lynchburg, Va.)

Kirven was overshadowed by some of the bigger names on the line but he nevertheless showed he belonged. He's got a good set of moves that he just needs to polish to be dominant but has all of the physical tools needed to be very, very good.


Posted on: July 10, 2011 1:34 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 4:28 pm
 

The Opening: Day 4 closes out all-star event

Posted by Bryan Fischer

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- As things wrapped up on Day 4 of The Opening, one couldn't help feeling a tinge of sadness on behalf of the nearly 150 athletes at the event. Knowing the end was coming and that they soon would have to hop on a plane home, many players couldn't believe the all-star event had come to a close. 

"It's a very humbling, lifetime experience," Yulee (Fla.) running back Derrick Henry said. "I'll never forget it. All this competition, the whole 150, it's a blessing. It's nice getting guys' prospectives on different colleges and stuff like that, it's been good."

As one of three sophomores at the event, Henry was just trying to soak in the event. Playing with some of the top players in the country, The Opening was a chance to learn from the best in anticipation of coming back next year as the elder statesman.

"This is my first time coming up here, and I'm starting to enjoy the whole thing," he said. "But next time it's going to be business."

The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Henry was one of the most impressive athletes, physically, at the event. Though he plays running back in high school, if he continues to grow, he might develop into a tight end -- a position he got reps at during the 7-on-7 portion of the event.

"It just gives me a chance to get out there and catch some balls and get some touchdowns," he said. "I'll do anything to get my team the win."

Though he was split out catching passes instead of running down hill, there's no question what position he wants to play at the next level.

"Oh running back, that's what I play," Henry said. "I'm just doing this because it's 7-on-7. You've got to do what you've got to do to get the ball."

The Opening also gave Henry a chance to talk with plenty of older, heavily recruited athletes such as Nelson Agholor, Terry Richardson and Dillon Lee just on his 7-on-7 team. Already solidified as one of the top players in the Class of 2013, Henry has been picking up scholarship offers at a good clip over the past few months.

"I got an offer from Stanford, North Carolina, Tennessee and some others," he said. "I know I'm over 50. It's a humbling experience. I thank god everyday for this opportunity. I just use it as motivation to keep working hard in the weight room and the classroom and the field. Hopefully I can give back to my teammates by using my talent and my name to get them opportunities for the young guys who are under (the radar)."

Although many had considered him a Florida State lean early on, it's another in-state program that has moved out in front nearly a year and a half before he eventually signs a letter of intent.

"Florida is my leader, then Georgia, Florida State and Alabama," Henry said. "I'm open to any school; it's just where I feel comfortable and at home at, that chemistry I have with the coaches and where my family likes."

Reeves down to two

With so many talented players on the fields at the Nike campus, tempers were bound to flare given the level of competition. But, surprisingly, things were mostly limited to some good-natured trash talking because of the bond the players had formed over the past few days.

"It's very competitive out here,” defensive back Armani Reeves said. “But they're all good guys. When we go inside the lounge in there, we're all family and have a good time. But when we come out to (the fields), that's the time to compete and that's what we do.”

Things have been competitive on the recruiting front for the Roxbury (Mass.) corner. Reeves recently narrowed down his list of schools to two and talked about both, starting with Notre Dame.

"They're a great school academically," he said. "Coach (Bob) Diaco, Coach (Brian) Kelly, they're trying to turn that program around and make it a championship school. When they talked they had a lot to offer. When they showed me around, the campus was beautiful and I got to hang out with a bunch of the players. I had a good time there.”

The Irish are not the only program in the running for Reeves' services, as the Nittany Lions are neck and neck with them in Reeves' eyes.

"As far as Penn State goes, it feels like home," he said. "Coach (Joe) Paterno, I talk to him every time I see him. We even Skype now. All of those coaches treat me like family and express how much they want me. I'm just enjoying the process and trying to think about everything."

Several recruits have reported they have Skyped with the coaching legend and like the others, Reeves feels it's a unique connection to one of college football's icons thanks to a bit of modern technology.

"Yeah it's pretty cool," Reeves said. "He was cracking jokes with me. He's new to the whole thing so when you have an old guy like him doing something like Skype, it's just fascinating. He was just talking and we forgot about recruiting, telling me stories and stuff. It was really fun, I had a good time."

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound defensive back returned from unofficial visits to both schools shortly before heading to Oregon for The Opening. While he is officially down to two schools, a timetable for a decision on which one he will commit to is up in the air.

"Hopefully I'll make a decision soon but if not, I don't mind waiting," he said. "I just came back from those visits like two or three weeks ago so I'm just taking this time enjoying my time out here with these fellas."

Elder getting closer to decision 

Proving that defensive backs can also have a pair of good hands, College Park (Ga.) corner Chaz Elder made one of the defensive plays of the day when he caught a beautiful over the shoulder interception in the end zone to prevent a touchdown.

“My teammate told me to watch for the corner,” Elder said. “So I went over to try and get over the top. I got over there a little to late, but luckily the wide receiver missed it and I was able to catch it.”

Coming a long way from home and making plays is something new for Elder, but the overall experience in Portland has been a rewarding one for the talented cornerback.

“It's been great,” he said. “This is the furthest I've ever been outside of Georgia. I like it. (The plane ride) is kind of long. It's very long but it's alright.”

One of the top players in a deep pool of talent in Georgia this year, Elder has more than 25 scholarship offers from major powerhouses, but he has narrowed his list to three schools.

“With (Georgia), I like the fact that me and Coach Mark Richt have a good relationship,” Elder said. “South Carolina, I like the fact that they're known for having good DB's. Plus I like the defense they run because it's similar to what I run now in high school. With Vanderbilt, they're upcoming and I could help change the face of the program.”

Vanderbilt is making news in the recruiting world by picking several major commitments, including one from Top 100 running back Brian Kimbrow. The momentum the school has under new coach James Franklin is something that matters to Elder.

“That's a big factor,” he admitted. 

Elder won't open up as to which of the three programs is out in front but plans to make a decision soon, likely in August before his senior seasons begins. 

Howard staying open

There were plenty of players who had fun at The Opening, but it was hard to top the excitement about the event that Miramar (Fla.) defensive back Tracy Howard had following a 7-on-7 win.

“It's been one of the best experiences of my life,” Howard said. “To come way out to Portland, Oregon, I know I haven't been this far from home. The only place I've been is the Bahamas on a cruise. It's definitely a blessing to get out here with the top talent and compete against those guys.”

A talkative player on the field, Howard doesn't mind finding a player on the opposing team and talking a little trash to back up his coverage skills

“Oh Sean Price,” Howard responds almost instantly about who he talks the most trash with. “We're good friends, it's not bad talk, we're just getting each other better.”

Though Howard has been leaning toward Florida for a good portion of the recruiting process, he's narrowed his list of schools he's considering and looking at all of the options equally.

“I'm just staying open right now,” he said. “I'm down to a few: Miami, Florida, Florida State, Alabama, LSU, South Carolina and Notre Dame.”

Notes 

-- Very impressive day by defensive linemen Sheldon Day and Ellis McCarthy. Though Day was named position group MVP, McCarthy was unblockable during one-on-ones and went around and through his man, all on a bad ankle. Aziz Shittu rebounded from a sub-par day Friday to perform well. Curtis Riser was the top offensive lineman of the group on Saturday to go with good performances from Vadal Alexander and Issac Seumalo.

-- No matter what position he played, Fresno (Calif.) athlete Deontay Greenberry was a flat-out player. From skying on jump balls in the end zone to intercepting passes during limited time on defense, the Notre Dame-bound Greenberry was consistently a top performer over all three days of competition.

-- Geismar (La.) safety Landon Collins was named the 7-on-7 MVP and overall MVP of The Opening. He was everywhere on the field and quite literally had too many interceptions to count over the two days of 7-on-7. He more than lived up to his billing as a top 10 player in the class of 2012 and might even be underrated based on what he has done this summer.

-- Another defensive back that stood out was Clemson commit and Tallahassee (Fla.) safety Travis Blanks. Blanks had two interceptions in the opening game Saturday (and nearly had two more) and continued his stellar play throughout the day. He is one of the most versatile defensive backs in that he's equally good as a safety and cornerback.

-- There weren't many of them, but the walking wounded on the sidelines generally sported cardinal and gold. USC commits Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick (stitches) and Jabari Ruffin (fractured wrist) were both out of action Saturday.

-- Team Alpha Talon, with honorary coaches Josh Freeman and Dwayne Bowe, won the 7-on-7 tournament. The team featured Bralon Addison, Nelson Agholor, Deon Bush, Landon Collins, Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, Trae Elston, Justin Ferguson, Derrick Henry, Germone Hopper, Chad Kelly, Duke Johnson, Dillon Lee, Kaiwan Lewis, Steven Longa, Lamar Louis, Marcus Maye, Armani Reeves, Terry Richardson and Randy Uzoma.  

-- The overall offensive line MVP was Vadal Alexander while Sheldon Day took home the same honors on the defensive line. Offensive tackle Kyle Murphy and defensive end Jamal Marcus were one-on-one champions.

-- The 7-on-7 All-Tournament team was Travis Blanks, Cyrus Jones, Johnathan Gray, Deontay Greenberry, Marcus Maye, Bryce Treggs and Tee Shepard.

Posted on: July 5, 2011 10:52 am
 

Video: Badger Sports 7-on-7 Nationals

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Lots of FBS-caliber talent at the Badger Sports/New Level Athletics 7-on-7 National Championship this weekend. Here's plenty of highlights from some of the top matchups of the tournament.

Round robin play 

1925 vs. B2G 

1925: Troy Williams, Tyler Stewart, Jorday Payton, Bryce Treggs, Mike Davison, Chris Harper, Jaydon Mickens, Deontay Greenberry, Ishmael Adams, Randall Goforth, Richard Smith, Tee Shepard, Johnny Johnson, Shaq Thompson, Jeremiah Allison, Marc Phillipi.

B2G: Marc Evans, Matt Morin, Derrick Turner, Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, Trenton Irwin, Robert Lewis, Gabriel Marks, Michael Robert, Kenny Lawler, Kahlil Pettway, Shannon Edwards, Jeff Coprich, Devian Shelton, Jermaine Ervin, Seth Jacobs. 



1925 vs. Goon Squad

Goon Squad: Zeke Pike, Eddie Printz, Charless Davis, Gehrig Dieter, Elliot Fareber, Goose Cohorn, Jason Croom, Roger Lewis, Jeremy Graves, David Williams, Jesse James, Darrion Hutcherson, Ike Spearman, Deaysean Rippy, Steven Longa, Justin Combs, Jalen Mills, Brandon Simmons, Graham Gillispie, Edward Parris. 



Championship Game

1925 vs. Team Houston

Team Houston: Jordoan Scott, Kaylon Melancon, Shane McCarley, Javonte Collins, Ashton Bennett, Tavares Garner, Xazier Murry, Josh Martinez, Seth Lensford, Chris Dismutte, Richard Rose, Jared Ambres, Allan Scott, Selwyn Green.



Posted on: May 31, 2011 6:43 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 6:44 pm
 

Greenberry is number nine for the Irish

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Notre Dame was looking to add a big time wide receiver to their class of 2012 and they landed one over the weekend, picking the commitment of Fresno (Calif.) receiver Deontay Greenberry.

“I always knew I was going to end up there, it was just a matter of time,” Greenberry told 247Sports.com. “It just came to my mind that I needed to commit. A bunch of recruiters from different schools were calling my coach all the time, so I think he was getting tired of it. I just decided the sooner, the better.”

The reason the 6-foot-3, 180-pound Greenberry said he was always going to end up at Notre Dame is that his cousin, cornerback Tee Shepard, has been committed to the Irish for several months. 

"We're doing something we've dreamed of," Greenberry told IrishIllustrated.com. "We've talked about it since schools started blowing up. It just happened to be the Irish. It's the Fighting Irish."

Greenberry is ranked number 74 overall in the class of 2012 by MaxPreps analyst Tom Lemming. His stock has taken off this spring after performing well at the BadgerSports 7-on-7 tournament in Las Vegas and the recent Stanford Nike Camp

“Physically, he already looks like a major-college wide receiver,” Lemming told the South Bend Tribune.

The talented wide out held offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Cal and UCLA among others. Greenberry has not taken an unofficial visit to South Bend to see the Irish facilities but plans to in early June. He is the ninth commitment for the class of 2012 overall for the school and the second receiver.

Notre Dame now has two commitments in the MaxPreps Top 100 for 2012 and appears well on their to building a top five class again this year.
Posted on: May 17, 2011 7:25 pm
Edited on: May 17, 2011 7:27 pm
 

Shepard performs well at Nike Camp, solid to ND

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.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com