The Badgers barely got back to Madison before the biggest news of Big Ten Media Days was made, as 3-star linebacker Dominic Sheppard announced his verbal commitment to the University of Wisconsin. The product of Miami (Fla.) Gulliver Prep announced his collegiate choice via Twitter.
It was a huge win for the Badgers—as they not only picked up a verbal from a South Florida prospect, but they also got a major upset according to the recruiting experts. The 247Sports Crystal Ball saw this as a near clean-sweep for the Miami Hurricanes, who had 73 percent of the 11 predictions in. Wisconsin did have the other 23 percent however.
What makes this recruiting win so huge is the list of offers out there for Sheppard to have chosen from. The three-star linebacker chose the Badgers over offers from the likes of Miami, Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and others.
Sheppard is the No. 47-ranked inside linebacker according to the 247Sports composite rankings. He is also the No. 634-ranked prospect nationally and the No. 83-ranked player in the state of Florida.
Watching film on Sheppard, what jumps out immediately about the 6’3″, 225-pound linebacker is his pure speed for his size. It makes him a versatile player who can play inside or outside backer at the collegiate level.
On the flip side it appears he needs to work on his pad level and not being so stiff in reacting to plays. However, he makes up for those smaller things with a very good combination of speed and instincts.
Sheppard was made a priority by the Badgers as soon as they offered him this spring and looking at the roster it’s clear that UW will need an infusion of athletic talent at inside linebacker in the 2015 class. He joins two other verbally committed linebackers in Nick Thomas from IMG Academy and Chris Orr from DeSoto, Texas.
With the commitment, the Badgers move up to the No. 22-ranked class in the country by 247Sports and the No. 3-ranked class in the Big Ten.
However, this could be the beginning of bigger things for the Badgers, as Badger247’s Evan Flood reported following the commitment:
Dominic Sheppard was a top priority since the spring for the #Badgers. Wisconsin may get another commitment tomorrow as well.
— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) July 30, 2014