The recruiting process started late for Cleveland Heights (Ohio) cornerback Marcus McShepard, but it heated up quickly immediately following his senior season. On Sunday, McShepard ended the process by committing to a Big Ten program.
"We had our banquet yesterday and he had gotten there late," Cleveland Heights head coach Jeff Rotsky said. "Just as I was finishing up with the seniors, Marcus walked in and announced he was going to Northwestern and got a standing ovation. It was awesome and I am so proud of him."
Northwestern was the first BCS school to offer McShepard, but was the school he had an eye on for a long time. He camped with the Wildcats this summer, and Rotsky believes it is an excellent athletic and academic fit for his star cornerback.
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"Coach Fitzgerald was in our building last week and is a wonderful guy," Rotsky said. "This was Marcus' place where he really wanted to be. I just had a feeling for a long time that this was going to be the place for him.
"He is a high-end learner and … it is an unbelievable school academically. Marcus can run with anybody in the country - he is a sub 4.4 guy - so I think he fits their scheme defensively and hopefully will have a chance to be a return guy there as well over time.
"If you are good enough the NFL is going to find you and Coach Fitzgerald has had plenty of guys go to the NFL. But, if that doesn't happen that Northwestern piece of paper is priceless."
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound McShepard chose Northwestern over a number of MAC scholarship offers and one from Penn State. He holds a 3.5 GPA in the classroom.