If that name sounds familiar, it's because Shepard is the cousin of Deontay Greenberry, one of the 2012 class' top wide receiver recruits, who stunned pundits everywhere by switching his commitment from the Fighting Irish to the Cougars on National Signing Day. The presence of Shepard, an early enrolee at Notre Dame, made Greenberry's switch even more surprising.
Shepard will likely have to sit out a year due to NCAA transfer rules. He has given no indication as of yet as to where he intends to transfer, but there are some subtle indicators pointing towards the Cougars.
-The fact that Greenberry originally chose ND because of Shepard shows that there is certainly a family tie there. Greenberry ultimately chose not to join Shepard, but Shepard could choose to join Greenberry. For good measure, Greenberry sent out a tweet on Thursday indicating that he was spending time with Shepard.
-The Cougars didn't originally recruit Shepard, but new Special Teams Coordinator and Inside Receivers Coach Jamie Christian did, for his former employers at Arizona State. A close relationship with Christian was one of the big reasons why Greenberry ended up at Houston. Could Christian pull off another coup?
-According to this video (which also details Shepard's inspirational battle to become an elite athlete despite a hearing disability) Shepard wants to major in engineering. The University of Houston boasts an impressive engineering program, so that could be a draw for Shepard, as well.
-If Shepard chose to come to Houston, it would also have some nice symmetry, in that it would line up with UH's move to the Big East. The opportunity to play for the Cougars, and not having to play a game in Conference USA? Who wouldn't want to be part of that?
It's no sure thing. In fact, the better bet may be USC, which was one of the schools most heavily recruiting Shepard originally, and which would allow him to stay closer to his family. (Shepard, like Greenberry, is from Fresno.) But it's a story to keep an eye on, without question.