Homegrown Gerrard Sheppard has chance to shine with Ravens

Gerrard Sheppard, Jalen Mills

Towson wide receiver Gerrard Sheppard was all smiles when his phone rang and it was the Ravens on the other end.

After going undrafted, the 6’2″ 215 lb Maryland native (Owings Mills) was ecstatic when the Ravens wanted to add him to their roster.

“It was a dream come true. I was born and raised in Baltimore and to play for my hometown I felt nothing but great feelings inside. I look forward to working my butt off every day to show them I deserve to be a part of this great organization,” stated Sheppard when asked what it meant to be a part of the reigning Super Bowl champions.

Back in March Sheppard shined at his pro day and made sure he was well prepared for the scouts that were on hand. ” I wasn’t too nervous. I felt pretty confident in the results I was putting up because of how much I prepared for the biggest job interview of my life,” he stated.

Sheppard’s numbers were impressive: 4.45 in the 40 and a 10.1 in the broad jump as well as a vertical jump of 35 1/2 inches. “Right after the season ended I got right back in the gym,” Sheppard explained. ”I also worked with a track coach and we put together a great plan to futher my game.”

The McDonogh High School graduate was sincere about his training. “Gerrard didn’t touch a drop of alcohol the entire off-season; he wanted to make sure he trained hard and prepared hard to get the opportunity,” stated Family Advisor Brent Conner.

Gerrard brings size, speed and skilled hands to the Ravens receiving corps, who lost top receiver Anquan Boldin this off-season.

“I try to mimic my game after Jerry Rice,” Sheppard replied when asked who he tries to compare himself to.  “The guy had such sure hands and his route running ability to separate from defenders was incredible, not mention how he carried himself off the field as well and that is who I try to mimic his work ethic.”

While playing at the University of Connecticut, where he spent two years, Sheppard had the opportunity to play against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl before he transferred to Towson. “Was the biggest game of my life,” he recalled. “I was nervous at the beginning but once I got the first hit out of the way I was OK.”

His transition was smooth to Towson; however, the Tigers were already playing preseason games which meant the transfer had to hit the playbook hard. “I spent numerous hours every night acclimating myself with the playbook,” Sheppard said. “I felt like it was a good transition at the time.”

One has to wonder the thoughts and the emotions of not hearing your name called throughout the entire NFL Draft. However, Gerrard stayed positive. When asked about the feeling he had when the Ravens contacted him he simply said, “Relief! I was very excited to see my hard work paid off but it also meant that phone call means I have to go ten times harder.”

“Blessed” is the word Gerrard used to describe himself, as Baltimore has a lot of competition at the wide receiver position heading into offseason activities and mini-camps. “I have been through a lot of things on the field and off the field but my faith has kept me working hard,” he also added.

Gerrard has a long road ahead of him to make the Ravens 53-man roster but his heart is huge and his determination is even bigger.

I for one will be rooting for the local Baltimore product the entire way.

Follow me on Twitter @sportguyrsr

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About Brian Bower

Brian Bower
Brian Bower is avid football fan who was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Brian has covered the Baltimore Ravens and NFL player positives in the community for the past two years for FootballNewsNow.com. His work has been featured on NFL.com and ESPN blogs. He is also a regular guest...more

15 Raves on “Homegrown Gerrard Sheppard has chance to shine with Ravens

  1. Peter on said:

    He’s the reason why Ravens don’t draft WR high. Why throw out a draft pick if you can sign guy like that as an UDFA?

  2. Chris on said:

    This guy appears to have the talents that the ravens are looking for… I watched his high light film..! definietly think he will be a secret weapon on the field

  3. Big Perm on said:

    we’ll see. you guys do know he played at Towson right? ive got some tape of me making some tight catches in the backyard. you think i’d be a secret weapon to? dont get too excited now fellas.

  4. Alonzo on said:

    Agree Big Perm. But I’m still happy we’re bringing him in. Seems like he’s well worth adding to the mix based on his measurables, and performance. And Jerry Rice did come from Mississippi Valley State.

  5. Rumor Ray on said:

    Big Perm,

    Yes he transferred to Towson however if you look real hard you will see that they played LSU last year. That was one of his games. Now the #3 Ranked LSU claimed they had an off game then and called Towson “fieisty” in the LSU 38 – Towson 22 game. I would also point out that OUR SUPER BOWL MVP QB Joe Flacco played at University of Delaware. The School does not make the Player, the Heart of a Champion can be in anyone! I am happy to see that the Baltimore Ravens are now able to get some local talent on the field.

    • g money on said:

      Rumor Ray, good call on Towson playing LSU last year. They most certainly did. However, please look at the stat line, as you are simply making Big Perm’s case. Gerrard Sheppard had 3 catches for 11 yards that game. He seems like the kind of guy that has alot of determination and hopefully he does well, but I agree with Big Perm here. Keep your expectations in check. Sometimes undrafted guys turn out really well, but that is the exception, not the rule.

      • g money on said:

        and on that note, when i was younger i hooped against Juan Dixon. I scored 6 pts in that game, and he dropped like 38 on us. I guess that means I shouldn’t give up on my NBA dream?

    • Big Perm on said:

      Rumor Ray,
      Come on dude. Don’t talk to me like i dont know who Joe Flacco is. Joe was also a first round pick. I would also like to point out that this towson kid was UNDRAFTED. i’m happy to see the Ravens getting talent on the field regardless of if they are local or not. and of course i saw that they played LSU, its the main damn picture. im just saying that people get excited too early. lets see the guy do something first. i’m not against bringing in talent, but damn…the guy plays one good team in college and we want to call him an all star.
      Again, i’ll post my tape if you want to talk me up too.

  6. Jake on said:

    Towson wasn’t a throwing school at all. He’s a natural athlete. He’ll be fine, hard work and a good degree of talent will sprout, big. I give the ravens a thumbs up on this pick. Diamonds in the rough happen everyday– ask Victor Cruz.

    • Big Perm on said:

      Every player in the NFL is a natural athlete. Why do people think that because a guy like Victor Cruz did it then some kid we get from Towson will do it. Every team in the league signs undrafted receivers every offseason. one works out (Victor Cruz) and all the sudden we expect it. you need to get real man. i want this guy to suceed as much as anyone, but i’m also realistic. and diamonds in the rough absolutely do NOT happen everyday as you stated.

  7. Brian on said:

    Gerrard has a long road ahead of him to make the Ravens 53-man roster as the article stated. It is great to see a local talent catch on with his hometown team. As the author of the article I can tell you the kid is full of heart and determination and wish him the very best in his jounery to the NFL.

  8. Rob Davis on said:

    Count the passes thrown to SHEPP. COUNT THE CATCHES. WATCH HIM MAKE BOG BLOCKS DOWN FIELD. FIND A BETTER CHARACTER IN A ATHLETE. TOWSON ISN’T A THROWING TEAM SO THE #’S AREN’T THERE AS MENTIONED. I’VE WATCHED SHEPP SINCE NORTHWOOD FOOTBALL LEAGUE WON NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP WITH HIM @WR. HE WAS A HIGH RECRUIT IN BASKETBALL OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL. A WINNER ALL DAY. ASDET IN LOCKER ROOM & NOT IN TJE DAILY BLOTTER BUT IN CHURCH ON SUNDAY MORNINGS

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