June 29, 2009

Shepherd still solid with Tide

The Alabama Crimson Tide have made the line of scrimmage a major priority when it comes to recruiting and last week at the Tide's offensive line/defensive line camp, several of the Tide's top offensive line prospects were on hand to showcase their skills, including Alabama commit Austin Shepherd.

"The camp went really well. It was a long day but I learned a lot from Coach (Joe) Pendry and the other coaches," said Shepherd, a 6-foot-5, 316-pound guard from Suwanee (GA) North Gwinnett.

Shepherd wasn't the only Tide commit to show up for the camp.

"I have been talking to Chad Lindsay a lot recently over the phone and the internet but we finally got a chance to meet at the camp. Our parents actually got together and we all went out to dinner one night. Chad's a cool guy and I'm looking forward to playing on the line next to him one day."

While Shepherd had planned on using the camp as an opportunity to help recruit other prospects to join him at Alabama, the nation's No. 15 guard prospect was surprised to find that his fellow recruits didn't need much convincing.

"I didn't really have to try to hard to recruit any of the other kids. All I say to them is that if you've got an offer and you're interested, you better get on board now because there are not many spots left."

Shepherd's plans to graduate in December mean that he'll likely spend the rest of the summer finishing up his early coursework while continuing to stay in shape by working out with his team.

"This summer I've mostly been focused on my summer school classes. I'm on pace to graduate in December right now. I'm also working out a lot as well. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I work out with my team and every other day I just train by myself. I feel like I have a chance to make a lot of improvement before the season starts if I continue to work hard."

As for whether or not Shepherd plans on taking any other visits this fall or allowing the recruiting process to continue, the Peach State star said his commitment to Alabama is firm.

"I told Coach Saban when I committed that I won't be talking to anyone else and I won't be making any visits other than to come to Alabama games this fall. I'm committed to Alabama and for me, the process is over."

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