Now holding a Kentucky offer, the Cats may be the front-runner for the home-state legacy recruit.
There may not be a four-star recruit Kentucky fans have wanted to bring to Lexington more than North Laurel High School standout Reed Sheppard.
The son of former UK great Jeff Sheppard put together a stellar sophomore season at North Laurel High School, and he’s followed that up with a great summer campaign that has officially caught the full attention of the UK coaching staff.
This weekend, John Calipari, Chin Coleman, Jai Lucas and Orlando Antigua all traveled to Hoover, Alabama, to watch Shepard at the Adidas Grassroots Circuit during this past week.
Shepard did not disappoint as he scored 26 points while knocking down six threes in front of the UK coaching staff.
Clearly, his performance impressed the Kentucky staff, as Friday saw Shepard announce he had landed an offer from the program he’s dreamed of playing for.
Blessed to have received an offer from The University of Kentucky! pic.twitter.com/MJltkExf2n
— reed sheppard (@reed_sheppard) July 9, 2021
In an interview with Kyle Tucker of the Athletic, he spoke about what playing for Kentucky would mean to him.
“It would mean a lot. Being from Kentucky and of course, Mom and Dad both played at Kentucky and just being a high school player in Kentucky, that’s everybody’s dream to go to the University of Kentucky,” Sheppard told Tucker.
“I watch Kentucky. We watch every one of Kentucky’s games as a family when we’re all home. So I did grow up a Kentucky fan and I like Kentucky. Coach Cal’s done a really good job getting players to the league and he’s had really good success in the tournaments. I think he’s a good coach. And now that they’re out there watching, that’s something that’s pretty cool.”
Not long after landing an offer from UK, the Cats picked momentum in 247’s expert predictions, as all three current projections are now in favor of the Wildcats. They were each logged Friday following news Kentucky had offered, and Eric Bossi added this on top of his prediction of Sheppard to the Cats.
“If Reed Sheppard wasn’t already the most popular player in the Bluegrass state, his status just shot way up. Hard to see him not ending up at UK.”
A 2023 prospect, there’s still a lot of work to do and a lot of competition for the Kentucky coaching staff. Shepard holds offers from Louisville, Iowa, Texas A&M, Rick Pitino and Iona and former UK assistant Joel Justus and Arizona State among others.
However, if Shepard decides to follow his childhood dreams, it appears there’s a strong chance he’ll be playing in front of the Rupp Arena crown in the winter of 2023.