LSU’s Shepard a no-show

Russell Shepard (10) is pushed out by Tharold Simon (24) at the LSU Spring Football Game April 9, 2011.
Russell Shepard (10) is pushed out by Tharold Simon (24) at the LSU Spring Football Game April 9, 2011.

Scott Rabalais

Advocate sportswriter

HOOVER, Ala. — There was no more prominent no-show for Southeastern Conference Football Media Days than LSU wide receiver Russell Shepard.

Thursday, the Tigers junior was an 11th-hour scratch from LSU’s media days lineup, replaced by senior offensive lineman T-Bob Hebert. The school said in a news release that Shepard had to attend to some personal matters.

“All I can tell you, is this an issue he had to handle in his personal life that needed an immediate resolution,” LSU coach Les Miles said Friday as he addressed an assemblage of print and internet reporters. “That’s why he’s not with us.”

Earlier, while being interviewed in a room of TV reporters, Miles stressed Shepard has not been suspended.

Asked about Shepard, Miles said: “I can’t speak to it, and I can only tell you that it’s not an issue that has any resolution in my mind. In other words, I don’t think there’s any way to categorize it at this point.”

Miles told ESPN college football reporter Joe Schad that he had no reason to have real concern about Shepard.

As to whether he is concerned about Shepard’s eligibility, Miles replied: “I’m not certain of any eventuality. I’m not certain that there will be any involvement there at all.”

A dual-threat as a runner and receiver, Shepard (6-foot-1, 188 pounds), was LSU’s biggest signee in the 2009 recruiting class and immediately saw playing time.

As a true freshman, the Houston native played in 12 games with 45 carries for 294 yards and two touchdowns along with five catches for 34 yards. In 2010, Shepard started nine of LSU’s 13 games, catching 33 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown while rushing 32 times for 226 yards and two scores.

Shepard is penciled in as LSU’s starting wide receiver opposite fellow junior Rueben Randle. Shepard’s backups are listed on the depth chart as sophomore Kadron Boone (6-0, 202) and redshirt freshman Armand Williams (6-3, 195).