Tee Shepard First Commit for ’12

Notre Dame and Brian Kelly picked up the first commitment for the recruiting class of 2012 on Wednesday and it came at a major position of need.  Tee Shepard, a 4-star and top 100 caliber recruit, selected the Irish over a host of other elite programs to kick off the class of 2012 with a bang.

Shepard (6-1, 175 lbs) is considered to be one the nation’s top corner prospects and his early offer list of Alabama, Auburn, Miami, and USC back up that status. Shepard, a native of Fresno, California,  also fits the profile that Brian Kelly is looking for at corner perfectly as a tall, physical, and athletic prospect.

Shepard has also already been selected to play in January’s US Army All American Bowl

Corner is a major area of need in this recruiting class.  Notre Dame will lose Gary Gray and Robert Blanton at the end of the year when they exhaust their eligibility leaving the Irish with very little experienced depth. Sophomore Lo Wood figures to play a lot this year along with at least one of the incoming freshman.  That lack of depth, however, should be a great selling point for Kelly and staff on the recruiting trail this year as two starting jobs will be up for grabs next spring.

Shepard will make his first visit to Notre Dame for the Blue-Gold game next month and does plan on taking his other official visits so there is some reason to be a little cautiously optimistic here.  Regardless, this is a great start to the class of 2012.

After hosting a major junior recruiting weekend last week, look for the recruiting momentum to kick up a little for Notre Dame after a slow month of February.

In closing, here is some video of Sheppard.


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  1. I still think Carl Williams c/o 2011 Jacksonville, Fla should have been signed by the Irish. His skills far exceed the safeties they have. Great Lost!!

  2. I really don’t care if MF wants to get snockered during the off season.
    He is a 21 year old man.
    I really don’t care if one of our players wants to burn a fattie during summer break.
    But you can’t do that stuff, then get behind the wheel of a car.
    And you don’t let a friend or companion get behind the wheel either.
    Pretty simple stuff.

    There was a time, when a player, who might be extremly well known, was seen geetting smashed at a local pub, and a team mate, or friend, or fan, would step up and help the guy out. We all make mistakes. That’s when the help of a friend really comes in handy. Where were Floyd’s friends? His Teammates? I know it’s not their job, but come on! There is more to being a team mate than just wearing the same uniform.
    Don’t these guys look out for each other anymore?

  3. Irishspartan,

    I don’t condone drinking and driving at all. The youngman obviously has a problem with alcohol. He needs help. Michael Floyd is about an education at the University of Notre Dame. He is about playing football at that University and made several mistakes. Take a look at a player like Chris Carter who took getting dumped by the Eagles to wake up. It would have been a lot better if he would have been able to get his life together at Ohio State and not the NFL. Floyd has jepordized his chances of playing for the Irish next year but also hurt his NFL career. At this point in time I don’t want him to play because he is the best receiver, I want the University that has made money off of him to work with him, help him and see if they can mold a better man out of him. In the end this is a Catholic University and they are about charity, forgiving and helping youth. People need to stop looking at this University as a beacon in the sky and that the players are to be Saints. Part of the lure of this University is the fact that a small Catholic College with a lot of heart beat the Mighty Michigan. People fail to remember that Michael Stonebraker was arrested for DUI also. Lets give Floyd a chance to make this right and become and Alumnis of the school and a great player in history before you just throw him out on his ear.

  4. Michael, Michael, Michael!!!

    I am a huge Notre Dame fan. I’ve been a fan ever since I was 6 years old (1986). I love watching the games on TV; I love going to the games; I love the university; I love everything about Notre Dame. With that being said, I still think Notre Dame has to suspend Michael for the semester. Unfortunately, that would mean his football career at Notre Dame would be finished. Do I think Notre Dame is on the rise…absolutely, but this definitely doesn’t help. They gave him a second chance and he blew it. This makes me sick!!

    Unfortunately, I live in Ohio. As you can immagine, I have had a hard time convincing the Luckeye fans why their players should be suspended for the semester and their coach be fired. It would be hypocritical of me to think differently of Michael…especially because he broke the law!! He knew what he was doing; he knew the consiquences. …Just sickening.

  5. jack,

    I agree with you. Young Mr. Floyd needs help, precisely the kind of help ND can give him. I would say suspend him for the Spring game, of course. Strip him of his role as team captain, of course. Perhaps even suspend him for a game or few games to start the season. But don’t boot him from the team and certainly don’t boot him from the school. In the end, I think that would do more harm the good for this young man.

    As for isrishspartan’s point: If he had actually crashed and hurt himself or someone else, then by law this is a mute point. But he thankfully didn’t do that. As such, he’s facing much less severe charges as a result. So there’s no use playing if ands or buts in this case. Bottom line is that Michael Floyd is in a world of trouble as it is; let’s not make it worse for him, his family, and his team.

  6. I disagree completely. This kid may have an alcohol problem and need the team and University to help him through it. He came back for his Senior year not only to play football but to graduate. He has made mistakes but I can name several of my college friends who made the same mistakes, learned from them and are productive members of society. ND needs to stop throwing students out for infractions and work with the student to correct the behavior and make their experience at ND a complete one. They have priests at this school who should be able to council your in trouble.

    1. Would you have felt differently if he had, God forbid, gotten in an accident and hurt someone while drunk?!?!

  7. As much as he is for the team…I’m not sure that i would approve of any action other than booting Floyd off the team. He’s a good kid…he’s made mistakes…but he’s made them repeatedly after already being told not to do that again by Kelly. The integrity of the University and the football program have to come first…that’s what makes UND special.

  8. This sucks BUT I’m still confident going into spring ball and the season. One player will not make or break this team PERIOD. I’m and will always me a Michael Floyd fan but will not loose my appetite or sleep over this. We are on the rise with or without him aboard.

    GO IRISH!!!

  9. Patrick O’Malley hoisted his beer and said: “Here’s to spending the rest of me life between the legs of me wife!” – and he took home the top prize for the best toast of the night.

    In bed later that night, he told his wife: “Mary, I won the prize for the best toast of the night.” She said, “Aye, Paddy, what was your toast?”

    So he told her: “Here’s to spending the rest of me life sitting in church with me wife.”

    “Oh,” she said, “that is very nice, dear.”

    The next day, Mary ran into one of Paddy’s drinking partners in the street. Mischievously, the man said: “Did you hear about your husband winning a prize in the pub the other night for a toast about you, Mary?”

    She replied: “Aye – and I was a bit surprised. Till now, he’s only been down there twice. Once he fell asleep, and the other time I had to pull him by the ears to make him come”.

    Happy St Patrick’s Day !


  10. Good start to the class. Would like to see the irish get some more players from jersey after missing out last year. How about an offer for Devin Fuller out of Old Tappan. He was the most electric player in the state playoffs last year. Plays QB, but that is just to get the ball in his hands every play. Would be a great offer as an athlete( CB,S,WR,) not a bad QB either.

  11. I think this is just a good thing for ND and I’m happy. I smiled so much when I read about this. In fact , Im gonna have an extra piec eof pie after dinner cuz of the good news. Have a round on me boys and girls. 3 Cheers for the March of Vicotry.

  12. The key here is I like how Kelly and staff handle recruits post commitment. Lot better than Charlie’s if you are looking we are looking. Kelly seems to stick to his plan and has a clear plan b, another guy lined up if you decommit or will recruit you with double the effort. You cannot help these kids will look around because they have the right. But how coaches handle it is more important.

  13. No concern here. worse case scenario, he helps us recruits for a couple months before decommitting. It never hurts to have one of the top players in the country helping you recruit in march. I read a lot of articles about him and apparently he knew he was going to ND before we even offered him.

  14. Two things that concern me after reading this article…

    1. His first visit to Notre Dame will be the Blue and Gold Game
    2. He will still take his other official visits.

    If he has never been to ND Campus and he is still planning on going on his other official visits, then he is not committed to Notre Dame, IMO. That makes no sense to verbally commit this early and then still plan on taking your visits. I’ll hope for the best, but something tells me this is far from over.

    1. I’ll give you this argument as to why a recruit can commit and still take official visits –

      Why wouldn’t you take a trip like that if provided for you?

      I’d never, ever consider going to other colleges to play football if I had the chance, but you bet your ass I’d take trips to other schools if offered, just for the experience.

  15. Great News, but it’s way too early to bank on his commitment.. USC, with their “luxury car salesman ” styled recruiters aren’t done yet.

  16. It is clear that Coach Kelly understands his team needs and will direct that focus on recruiting and player development. After going through the reject trifecta, I KNOW we finally have THE guy as headcoach at ND!

    Tee, welcome to ND!!

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