First reported by @RedHawkInsider, cornerback Tee Shepard will be transferring from Ole Miss to join the Miami RedHawks.
His road to Oxford, Ohio is full of all kinds of bends and turns. The Fresno, California native initially came to Notre Dame in 2012 as an early enrollee where Chuck Martin was a recruiting coordinator before shifting his attention to being an offensive coordinator. He was the best HS cornerback prospect in the nation (per 247Sports) as a 4-star player. Two months after being an early enrollee, Shepard wanted to transfer. He left Notre Dame and joined Holmes Community College in Goodman, Mississippi where he earned a degree in three semesters.
"I had played one year of JUCO ball," Shepard told us. "The five games [at Ole Miss] I didn't play. Throughout my college career, I literally only played one full season and that was my freshman year at Holmes C.C."
Just days before National Signing Day, Shepard flipped his commitment to in-state rival Ole Miss. An injury in his toe kept him from playing the 2014 season with the Rebels and didn't really get a chance to play in the 2015 season either, which is why he decided to quit playing and focus on earning his second degree instead.
"I am taking classes so I can receive my second degree May 14, 2016," Shepard said. "Then I will be coming ASAP after I walk the stage."
"Chuck Martin recruited me out of HS when I was at Notre Dame for a short period of time. Knowing that I have one year to play, possibly two, I figure I would need to go play for someone that I can trust and believing in me and support my hearing on the field."
Oh, there's that part too. You see, Shepard is deaf with a 90.63% hearing loss.
"I was actually going to start my career after I graduate in May," he continued. "Chuck Martin gave me hope... I was going to give it all up and move on in life." After his previous stops at various colleges in the last four years, Shepard didn't feel like he was getting a fair chance to play. But he really trusts Martin and is excited to play him.
The plan for Shepard is to come to Miami and earn his master's degree in sports leadership and management. With that, he's aiming to pursue a career in becoming a cornerbacks coach to help young athletes around the nation achieve their dreams.