Jalin Shephard has been a name floating around the recruiting world for a few years now. The Callaway star two-way player at receiver and cornerback has been one of the best in Class 2-A; even last year making our All-State team at cornerback. To put simply, the 2021 athlete makes impactful winning plays.
Well, last Friday the Shephard found another way to make a big impact play for his team. This time he was on the offensive side of the ball, where he ran a fairly routine deep out route on the left sideline.
With tight man coverage, the senior caught the pass, and soon after the defensive back was holding to Shephard at the waist. With out of bounds quickly approaching, a lot of players would have just stepped out, and taken the first down, but this senior is no ordinary player. He dragged the defense, remained upright, and ultimately broke free where he then sprinted the remaining 50 yards downfield for a touchdown.
The exciting play earned him a spot in our weekly top plays, and eventually, Shephard was voted into the top 5. Honestly though, if you have been following Callaway football the last few years, Shephard has been making these plays since his sophomore year.
“What separates my game from others is the experience and the connection I have with my quarterback. On a defensive perspective, I try to model my game after Denzel Ward from the Cleveland Browns,” Shephard said.
His connection with senior quarterback Demetrius Coleman has been built brick by brick over the last few years, but it was actually this offseason where Shephard felt that him and the rest of his senior teammates grew together.
“The offseason was great it allowed me and the other seniors to come together and learn everyone’s strengths and weaknesses.”
That offseason bonding during the most unusual of times has forged together a powerful bond and has led to an undefeated season with Callaway standing at the top of the pack in 2-A. Despite losing possibly the greatest player in school history in Tank Bigsby, Callaway has emerged the favorite, and it’s seniors like Shephard that has stepped up.
“I’ve improved the most as a leader; although I’m not a true vocal type of leader, I’ve learned when to step in and when to not.”
Shephard and the rest of the Callaway football squad seemed to be laser-focused on the task at hand.
“My goal for the rest of the season is to continue to improve on my game and stay undefeated.”
It’s never an easy task to run the table in the state and go 15-0, but out of all the schools here in Georgia, we think Callaway has the best chance of any of them. Speaking about overcoming tough scenarios though, how about trying to get recruited during a global pandemic that has extended the college dead period from March to January.
As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, Shephard was a player we were very familiar with over the last few years on the recruiting front. He boasted double-digit offers, but the lack of spring practice and college camps has waffled early interest, and the senior’s recruitment has gone idle.
“My recruitment is slow as of right now and I do not have a timeline on commitment,” said Shephard.
Scouting the 2021 recruit over the last year, and he is a no-brainer FBS player in our book. He has solid size at 5’11”, but what really catches our eye is his physicality in coverage and also his ability to make tackles in the open field. In fact, he’s one of the best tackling defensive backs in this class, and we think he has the versatility, and ball skills to play several spots at the next level.
Just in last week’s top play, you see the mental toughness to break off the tackles and create impactful moments for his team. That’s not something you can teach either. That never say die attitude is either ingrained in you or not, and Shephard has it.
Honestly, we think it is crazy that the 2021 recruit has not seen a new college offers since Indiana back in April. In our opinion, he is a proven commodity that has shown for three years now he can produce at a high level. The downward recruiting trend is bound to end here soon, so continue to check @RecruitGeorgia on Twitter to see the latest recruiting news on Shephard and the rest of the athletes across the state of Georgia.
Interested in recruiting Jaline Shephard? Click HERE to visit his Recruit Georiga profile.