|9 Ja'Corey Shepherd
Rice -- Veteran corner who brings 22 career starts and five career interceptions into his senior season.
2008: Set a school record with 863 yards on 40 kickoff returns... 1339 career yards ranks fourth... Ranks ninth in C-USA with a 21.6 average on 40 kickoff returns ... 43-yard return vs.UTEP was the longest of his career... Picked off his first pass of the season (sixth of his career) vs. North Texas. Made his 23rd career start against SMU at boundry corner.
2007: Finished eighth on the team with 42 tackles... Notched a season-best seven tackles in back-to-back efforts against Southern Miss and Houston... added his only tackle for loss against Southern Miss... Recovered a fumble and broke up a pass in addition to his seven stops against the Cougars... Picked off his only pass of the year, and the fourth of his career against Tulane and returned it 11 yards... Third on the team with 17 career passes defended... Worked as one of the Owls principle kick returners....Averaged 17.5 yards per kickoff return (27 for 473 yards) and 5.5 yards per punt return (22 for 120 yards)... Longest kickoff return was 39 yards against UTEP, while his longest punt return was 20 yards vs. Tulane.
2006: Started 11 games at cornerback and tied for the team lead with six pass breakups this year... Top tackle game was an 11-stop effort against UCLA... Also picked up his first career interception against the Bruins... Picked off his second pass against Tulane... Returned a total of nine punts for 51 yards, with a career-long of 22 yards against UCF... Missed the Tulsa game due to an injury, then returned to the field for the final two games of the regular season... Member of the Student Owl Club.
2005: Played in all 11 games with six starts at CB... Had 46 tackles (35 primary), including 1.5 for three yards in losses... Led the Owls with two interceptions (vs. Texas and UCF)... Also had three pass deflections, forced one fumble, recovered another, and had one block of a UAB field-goal attempt.
High School -- 2004 graduate of Lufkin High in east Texas... Two-year letterman and starter for coach John Outlaw... All-District 11-5A and all-East Texas... Helped the Panthers to the league title with 65 tackles, six interceptions and 14 pass breakups... Received the Fighting Panther Award for his dedication and hard work...Had 67 tackles and six interceptions as a senior, and 104 stops and 10 picks for his schoolboy career... Also won all-district honors for Lufkin's state semifinalists in '02 with 52 tackles, four interceptions and eight PBUs... Three-year letterman in track and won two monograms in powerlifting... Played on Lufkin's state championship team as a sophomore in '01... Four-year member of the student council.
Personal -- Full Name: Ja'Corey Markeice Shepherd... Born: Nov. 12, 1985, at Lufkin... Parents: Ellis Tatum and Constance Shepherd, Lufkin... Cousin Reggie McNeal was the starting quarterback at Texas A&M from 2002-05 and played for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2007; cousin Lee Brandon Shepherd played at A&M in 2000; and cousin JaCoby Shephard played at Oklahoma State and in the NFL with the St. Louis Rams.. Rice major: kinesiology.