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Shepard's character outshines incredible talent

Originally Published: August 5, 2008
By Christopher Lawlor | ESPN.com

CYPRESS, Texas -- Gary Thiebaud likes to tell this story about Russell Shepard. It's one that defined the moral fiber of a teenager and spawned a leader.

Thiebaud prefaced the story by noting it is unparalleled in his 30 years as an educator and head football coach. He said "nearly every college coach was teary-eyed when I finished telling it."

Shepard, the No. 2-ranked player in the ESPNU 150, who plays for Cypress Ridge High, not only touched a gathering at a Houston-area ...

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