January 20, 2011
With the 2010 high school sea son football coming to a close it's time to look ahead to the Class of 2012. Cali High Sports is the first site to come out with its list of the top players for 2012 as we unveil our Cali High's Top 15 which will be re-evaluated and expanded to a top 25 over the spring and summer. For a look at our 2011 rankings, click here.
We continue our countdown to #1 with Central High East cornerback Tee Shepard, a lockdown defensive back who has possibly the most impressive list of offers for any defensive player in the state.
#6 Tee Shepard
School: Central High East
Position: Athlete (Cornerback/Wide Receiver)
Schools Considering: Notre Dame, Oregon, Arizona, USC, UCLA, Miami, Alabama (all have offered)
NFL Comparison: Darrelle Revis
Tee Shepard has been anointed as a superstar cornerback since he was just a freshman. Back then, Shepard was voted the best underclassman at the 2009 San Francisco Scout.com Combine and was able to go toe to toe with now USC receiver Markeith Ambles. At that time, Ambles was a junior, a superstar, with an incredibly developed body. Yet the tiny Tee was able to matchup with Markeith and slow him down because of his incredible skill and superior instincts.
Since then, Tee’s skills have developed even further and he has matured into his body making him the most elite defensive prospect in California.
Tee is great at jamming his man at the line of scrimmage. He’s a very physical cornerback and at 6’0 feet tall with improved strength he has the size to matchup with almost any wide out. Off the line he really gets inside his receiver, jamming him with his hands and trying to re-route him as much as possible. Shepard’s strength and instinct to know where to direct his man make him very effective in press coverage.
Shepard is very smooth into his back pedal and moves side to side very fluidly. He is extremely adept at recognizing the route the receiver is running then figuring out the best way to break it up. He is fast enough to stick with his receiver on streaks and fly patterns and has good enough footwork to make quick breaks on outs and hitches.
Tee really has an aggressive nature and like any great cornerback, takes his battles with wide receivers personally. He loves going 1-on-1 with a guy who he knows is an elite player and his competitive fire is something you can’t teach. Tee never gives up on a play and will shadow his man all across the field. Shepard has great hands and can make phenomenal interceptions and when he does get a pick, he is very skilled at trying to return it back for big hunks of yardage.
Tee Shepard is the premier cornerback on the West coast and could very well shoot up higher on this list when spring camps start and he can continue to show off the improvement he has been making.
The next level?: Tee has an astounding list of offers and early on in his process had indicated that his top three schools are Oregon, Arizona and Notre Dame, in no particular order. Expect Tee’s top three to change because schools will really be recruiting him hard because Tee is a guy who should start as a true freshmen.
Tee has freshmen All-American potential and his coaches often call him the best cornerback they’ve ever seen. Tee Shepard is a star and will be a massive recruiting pull for whichever school he attends.
Cali High Grade: 94