In an effort to learn more about the 2011 Buffalo Bills draft class members, Buffalobills.com has launched a new Q&A feature called FOUR DOWNS …
Today, LSU’s pre- and post-game radio analyst Gordy Rush talks about Bills third round draft selection (68th overall) LB Kelvin Sheppard. Rush has covered LSU football for 16 years. Rush talks about Sheppard’s leadership on-and-off the field and his ability to find the football.
Rush shares more impressions of Sheppard in today’s edition of FOUR DOWNS …
Describe Kelvin Sheppard in 30 seconds or less …
Kelvin Sheppard first off is a leader. Number two he is a very cerebral, smart player. He is a guy that lined up in a John Chavis (LSU Defensive Coordinator) defense. And the third thing is he gives incredible effort. He rallies and runs to the football and has a nose for the ball.
What is Kelvin Sheppard’s best quality as a football player?
He’s a leader. He was a leader of one of the top defenses. We had a lot of true freshman play at LSU and you saw kids on and off the field gravitate towards Kelvin.
What is the most memorable moment in Kelvin Sheppard’s college career?
I always remember the pre-game swarm he did getting the guys rocking back and forth and he was in the middle of them.
Against Alabama, he and Drake Nevis ran a little twist stunt and stripped the ball away from Greg McElroy, their quarterback. Kelvin recovered it. That was memorable as it helped close out that game which was a big win for LSU last year during his senior year.
What is the biggest change you noticed in Kelvin Sheppard from the time he entered school to now?
In the fact that they had leaders on that defense before and how he was always an expressive guy, but he gravitated from being a follower to a leader with Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson. Kelvin came in from out of state in Georgia and was not a guy in the loop with the LSU tradition. But he came in and asserted himself as a leader. Just to see him grow as a player and as a leader was a big change.
If you compare Kelvin Sheppard to a current or former NFL player, who would that be?
I would say Cowboys linebacker Bradie James. He was a former LSU Tiger. Both are very good athletes and move well side-to-side. They are both leaders and very intelligent. Hopefully, for Buffalo, Kelvin has the same sort of success that Bradie has had.
Where do you think Kelvin Sheppard will make the biggest impact on the 2011 Buffalo Bills football team?
At the very least they are going to get a guy that is going to be great in the locker room. He is a guy that before he started at LSU was a standout on special teams. I remember back during the National Championship year he was a wedge-buster on kickoff and played on all of the special teams. And I think he will be a guy that is going to be able to come in and is going to pick up the scheme. He’s going to be a guy that the coaches can give the playbook to and he is going to be able to digest it pretty well.
What will Kelvin Sheppard contribute to the Buffalo community?
He was the face of the LSU team when they got involved with the community. On Thursdays before home games the Bengal Belles would have 800-1,000 women at a luncheon. All of the players would come out, let down their guard and be themselves. He was a fan favorite of the group and he gets the big picture.
What is Kelvin Sheppard’s best quality off the field?
He has a great smile. He is a kid that you’re drawn to because he has a good personality and you always see him in good spirits.