JaMarcus Shephard elevates talent and will continue to do so at Alabama

Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Washington Huskies wide receivers coach JaMarcus Shephard against the
Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Washington Huskies wide receivers coach JaMarcus Shephard against the / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Kalen DeBoer's move to Alabama has brought several of the top assistants in the sport, but one coach stands out. JaMarcus Shephard is considered by many to be the best wide receivers coach in the country and one of the top on-field assistants in the country. Shephard has worked for several of the biggest names in the sport working under Willie Taggart, Bobby Petrino, Jeff Brohm, Mike Leach, and Kalen DeBoer.

During Shephard's time at Western Kentucky, he worked under Willie Taggart, Bobby Petrino, and Jeff Brohm as an offensive quality control coach, and a receivers coach. In his first season, Shephard's receivers stood out as Jared Dangerfield broke the program's single-season receptions record while tying the team's single-season touchdowns mark. Shephard also helped develop Taywan Taylor who became first-team, All-Conference USA before becoming a third-round NFL pick.

Shephard followed Jeff Brohm to Purdue where he'd become the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach before being elevated to offensive coordinator. At Purdue, Shephard would notably coach future NFL second-round pick Rondale Moore and future third-round pick David Bell. Shephard landed Moore at Purdue over Alabama and worked on his biggest flaws turning him into an NFL-caliber player. Shephard turned Rondale Moore into one of the best route runners in college football saying the following,

"Gone are the days of just go out there and just run the route that we told you to run and thats it. These guys have to be savants."

JaMarcus Shephard

The best work of Coach Shephard's career came under Kalen DeBoer as the Washington Huskies receiver's coach. When April's NFL Draft takes place you'll see Rome Odunze walk across the stage as a top-ten pick. Odunze could become the program's highest-drafted offensive player. On Day Two we'll see Jalen McMillan and Ja'Lynn Polk selected both products of Shephard. Odunze considered entering the NFL Draft before the 2023 season but returned Shephard's sound advice. Neither Odunze nor Shephard could've predicted 2023 would go as well as it did. Odunze caught 92 passes for 1,640 yards and 13 touchdowns.

After this draft, Shephard will have sent Odunze to the NFL in the first round, Rondale Moore to the second round, and Taywan Taylor, David Bell, Ja'Lynn Polk, and Jalen McMillan in the third round. As recruits, Odunze was a four-star recruit as was McMillan, David Bell, and Rondale Moore. Polk was a three-star recruit, and Taywan Taylor was a two-star recruit.

The group Shephard currently has at Alabama will be by far his best group yet, with a five-star in Ryan Williams along with notable four-stars in Germie Bernard, Kobe Prentice, Kendrick Law, Emmanuel Henderson Jr, Jaren Hamilton, Jalen Hale, Cole Adams, Rico Scott, Amari Jefferson, Aeryn Hampton, Rico Scott, and Caleb Odom.

Based on raw talent, Shephard will have the most to work with of any team in his coaching career. He returns proven producers, in Kendrick Law, Germie Bernard, and Kobe Prentice. Players like Ryan Williams and Emmanuel Henderson can make a massive impact if Jalen Hale's injury keeps him out long-term.

Under Holmon Wiggins, several wide receivers did not live up to their talent. Javon Baker transferred to UCF and will be drafted this year while players like Aaron Anderson and Traeshon Holden continue to develop elsewhere. This trend should change with a coach as talented as JaMarcus Shephard.

Enjoy JaMarcus Shephard while he's here

The Alabama Football program should try and get the most out of JaMarcus Shephard while he's in Tuscaloosa. The 40-year-old is among the hottest names in coaching and while he's a co-offensive coordinator at Alabama he'll certainly get full-time offers after this season. Kalen DeBoer's first staff has already lost Ryan Grubb and Scott Huff and names like Shephard, Kane Wommack, and Colin Hitschler will all garner plenty of interest this off-season.

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Note: Recruiting info via 24/7 Sports