Thursday, March 11, 2010

Excessive Tebow criticism converts player

ESPN's Chris Low has the story about the cost the excessive criticism of Tebow has had on other players like LSU's Russell Shepard.


LSU’s Russell Shepard is an admitted Tim Tebow fan. The same goes for his dad, Russell Shepard, Sr.
So it goes without saying that when they saw Tebow being picked apart by NFL scouts for all the things he supposedly couldn’t do as a quarterback, it left an impression.

And in a lot of ways, it made Shepard’s decision to convert from quarterback to receiver that much easier.

“Three or four months ago, Tebow was being labeled as arguably the best college football player ever, but the NFL doesn’t care at all. It truly doesn’t matter there,” Shepard said. “I’ve been playing this game for a long time and want to have a successful career at the next level, and the receiver position and special teams is the best route for me to do that.”

Initially, Shepard said his father fought the move to receiver.

“I’d always been a quarterback. That’s what I came to LSU to play and what my family was used to seeing me play,” said Shepard, who once rushed for 341 yards in a high school game, including five touchdowns of 40 yards or longer.

“Playing quarterback in college, you can get away with being an athlete sort of like what Florida did with Tebow. My father loved Tebow, but was amazed by how four months ago he was the best player ever and now he has such a low grade as a quarterback that some teams are saying they wouldn’t even draft him as a quarterback.”

Soon after the Tigers opened spring practice last week, Shepard got a call from his dad.

“He just said, ‘Son, I believe you made the best decision of your life, just looking at the whole Tebow thing,’ ” Shepard recounted. “I know it’s the right decision.”


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