• John Macon Gillespie

Urriah Shephard Set To Explode In 2016

After taking the reigns of the Houston Hilltoppers as a sophomore last season, Urriah Shephard has emerged as one of the state’s most promising underclassmen. All he did last season was lead the Toppers to two playoff victories. It was just the second time in school history for the Toppers to win a playoff game.

Shephard developed nicely at the quarterback spot in 2015. He proved he has a bright future at the position for Houston, though he may be destined for another spot on the next level. His versatility showed last season as he lined up a running back some, caught seven passe for 52 yards and even returned 3 kickoffs for a total of 120 yards.

Only twice in thirteen games this season did he not carry the ball at least seven times or more. All in all, he finished the year with over 1,100 yards, 14 touchdowns and over five yards per carry. He finished the season with modest numbers through the air, throwing for 547 yards and four touchdowns.

The moment that stuck out to him this season was going over 1,000 rushing yards for his career against rival Calhoun City. As for credit, he prefers to defer that to others around him.

“My teammates pushing me every day,” He said of how he was able to perform so well last season. “My coach believing in me and putting me in a position to make things happen for the team.”

With some quarterbacks moving on this season that had been starting since their tenth grade season like Jack Abraham, Cam Bowman and Daniel Bristow, it is nice to see a young guy like Shephard step in. He is one of many of his 2018 peers that have emerged as stars in Mississippi. With so much ahead of him, what does he most look forward to accomplishing with two years remaining in his high school career?

“To compete for a state championship in 4A and take down Noxubee County,” Shephard told SES Mississippi.

On March 5th Shephard will make the trek to Petal High school to compete in the Fortius Project combine.

He says he has plans to “work twice as hard as I did last year,” so that work will get started at Fortius. And there’s plenty of work to be done with three separate positions in mind. In addition to working on footwork and throwing at the quarterback spot, he will also work at running back and possibly receiver.

“I just love to get better with every opportunity that comes my way. I love the competition. This can help me prove something,” He said when asked why he he was most looking towards attending.

The draw to compete against fellow sophomore Marcus Murphy of West Point and other talented athletes was very appealing to Shephard. Murphy and He are two very athletic, young quarterbacks that have to excite you looking towards the next two years in Mississippi high school football action with all the potential they possess.

Join the growing group of talent coming out to the Fortius project to test their skills, push themselves beyond limits and see if they are #STRONGER.

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