Russell Shepard has decided to leave LSU with a year of eligibility remaining, and he's getting a little flack for it.
Shepard, a junior, tweeted Wednesday that he had a "had decision to make" and then tweeted, "Thanks for your support Tiger Nation...but I have to do what's best for my family and myself...Geaux Tigers." He didn't explicitly say whether he was going pro or transferring.
But after his cryptic announcement, Shepard started to get some backlash on his Twitter page, especially since he only had 14 catches for 190 yards and four touchdowns this season and only has 52 catches for 478 yards and 5 touchdowns in his career, after arriving in 2009 as one of the most celebrated incoming recruits in the nation.
So what did Shepard do? He lashed out on Twitter, of course, defending his decision to leave and blaming his lack of production on poor quarterback play — though not in so many words:
Funny: LSU's quarterbacks, who weren't great, didn't seem to have any trouble finding Rueben Randle, who had 53 catches for 917 yards and eight touchdowns, or true freshman Odell Beckham Jr., who passed Shepard on the depth chart and finished with 41 catches for 475 yards and two scores.
Shepard, a former quarterback, was hampered by the fact that he missed the first three games of the season because of a suspension and never got back on track. According to NFLDraftScout.com, no one thought he would come out this year; consequently, he's not on any of the draft boards and there's no guarantee he'll even be drafted.
So what's the hurry? It's unclear whether Shepard's decision is motivated by money or something else that might be happening with the team, but it seems he's doing himself a disservice by not staying one more year — with a new, likely more receiver-friendly quarterback taking the reins — and trying increase his draft stock.