Wisconsin received its second commitment in little over a week on Tuesday, landing a recruit it's been chasing since the spring in Miami (Gulliver Prep) linebacker Dominic Sheppard. The 6'2, 225-pound three-star prospect is ranked the country's No. 43 inside linebacker by 247Composite.
COMMITED TO WISCONSIN #badgers— DSG14™ (@SheppardDominic) July 30, 2014
Sheppard is a long linebacker who covers ground nicely (he previously ran track) and is a very capable hitter. Take a look at the second play in his Hudl clip below, for instance, and you'll see a linebacker capable of reading a play and stopping an opposing runner straight in his tracks.
Another reward for Wisconsin, though? That offer sheet. Sheppard chose the Badgers over offers from Alabama, Clemson, Illinois, Louisville, Miami (long considered the favorite to land him), Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and more.
247 Sports has the first quotes from Sheppard, who cited academics (he plans on being an engineering major) and his relationship with Wisconsin recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach Chris Beatty as major factors in his decision.
"He kept it going," Sheppard said. "Hit me up every day. He wanted me to a Badger. He gave me the truth."
Sheppard's coach at Gulliver Prep, Earl Sims, echoed that sentiment in even greater detail to 247.
"He felt they made him a priority," Sims said. "They recruited him really hard and he told me he felt he was the top priority for them. They told him landing him would help finalize their class. I know he's going to take his first official visit there in September."
Sheppard joins fellow linebackers Mohamed Barry, Nick Thomas and Chris Orr as linebackers in UW's class of 2015. That's a pretty stacked group, and one unit that might be among the class' greatest prizes come National Signing Day.
Sheppard also joins Thomas and wide receiver Andrew James as the Badgers' three 2015 commits from Florida.
Correction: I removed the part about Sheppard's girlfriend being unhappy with his commitment because it was unclear whether Evan Flood's tweet related to himself or Sheppard. Apologies for the confusion.