LSU Tigers: LSU pro day

BATON ROUGE, La. -- In four years playing for LSU, fans got to see Russell Shepard do a lot.

Coming out of high school in 2009 as one of the country's top dual-threat quarterbacks, he lined up in the backfield in college and ran with the ball as a running back. He'd line up outside and in the slot and catch passes (or, mostly not get thrown to) as a wide receiver. He'd return kicks.

[+] EnlargeRussell Shepard
Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesRussell Shepard said that while he has never had to backpedal in his career, he did a pretty OK job of it this week at LSU's pro day.
What we didn't see him do is what NFL scouts had him doing Wednesday at LSU's pro day. Shepard backpedaled, turned to catch the ball, changed directions and reacted, all drills he was doing at -- of all things -- defensive backs.

Russell Shepard, a cornerback?

Don't laugh.

"I had six teams come up and tell me they wanted to see me do DB work," he said. "I never knew I was going to do it. But I did decent today."

That made pro day an extension of Shepard's entire career, at least his college career. Few have ever questioned Shepard's athleticism -- he put that on display during physical testing, running a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash, and jumping 38.5 inches in the vertical leap -- but the question has always been how to utilize it.

Shepard has played every offensive skill position at LSU -- quarterback, running back and receiver -- but never was asked to flip to the other side of the ball until Wednesday.

"I've never backpedaled," Shepard said. "For my first time, I felt I did pretty decent. A lot of the teams were impressed. I could be a DB at the next level."

The thought had hardly crossed his mind before pro day. He was a high school quarterback who would alternate in college between being primarily a running back and primarily a wide receiver, all the time getting the occasional look as a wildcat quarterback.

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