The long, winding collegiate road that took Tee Shepard to one Oxford will end in another.
The well-traveled cornerback confirmed to 247Sports.com that he has decided to transfer to Miami of Ohio to finish his collegiate playing career. Shepard will be finishing up the semester at Ole Miss and graduating in May, meaning he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2016 for the MAC program. This will be Shepard’s final season of eligibility.
And the reason he’s decided to spend it with the RedHawks? Their head coach played a significant role in helping to get him to his first collegiate stop.
“Chuck Martin is the only coach in the country I can try to play my last year with,” Shepard told the recruiting website. “He recruited me out of high school when he was at Notre Dame at the time. It’s been over four years coming.
“He’s a great guy, his family means a lot to me as well. His sweet wife and his son and daughter. He loves to help kids get back on their feet. It’s never about the money. He actually loves doing his job. His coaching style is on another (level) from the rest of the coaches. He’s a player’s coach – loves to spend time with his players on and off the field.”
Shepard was a four-star member of Notre Dame’s 2012 recruiting class, rated as the No. 4 cornerback in the country; the No. 11 player at any position in the state of California; and the No. 76 player overall according to Rivals.com. The Irish announced in March of 2012 that Shepard was no longer enrolled at the school, two months after he enrolled as an early signee. The stated reason for Shepard’s decision at the time was the desire to be back closer to his family in Fresno.
After leaving South Bend, Shepard considered transferring to Fresno State as well as USC before ultimately landing at a junior college.
He spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons at the JUCO level. On his second spinning of the recruiting carousel, Shepard originally gave a verbal commitment to rival Mississippi State before flipping to Ole Miss three days later on signing day in 2014.
After some initial uncertainty, Shepard received academic clearance and was eligible to play for the Rebels in 2014. Unfortunately, Shepard, who was No. 2 on the cornerback depth chart at the time, sustained a torn tendon in one of his toes during summer camp that year and didn’t play at all in 2014.
He had played in all five games of the 2015 season before Ole Miss announced that the hearing-impaired Shepard would be retiring from football.