Troy Sheppard, Northwestern Wildcats football, No. 47

Jim McIsaac

Troy Sheppard's a walk-on cornerback, but first, A TREATISE ON HOW ANGRY I AM ABOUT SOMETHING VERY SPECIFIC.

So, before we get to Troy Sheppard, a brief side note. I set out on this quest more than 52 days ago. I started writing my post for No. 99, Chance Carter, about three weeks ahead of time, and proceeded to try as hard as I could to write one a day, so I'd have time to write other things without worrying about getting a countdown post up in time. However, due to the fact that I have a job, try to write posts on other stuff, and also try to go to the gym every day and also have a life, the countdown has caught up to me. As I sit down to write No. 47, Troy Sheppard, the post for No. 51, Jaylen Prater, has posted today.

I banked on the fact that there were still a few open numbers left on the roster below No. 50 that would provide rest, and if I doubled up some days, and redoubled my effort writing other posts, I'd be able to figure this all out.

But as I wrote Thursday, Northwestern added a bunch of players to the roster below No. 50. However, they weren't done. After adding all the scholarship players to the roster, Northwestern added an additional smattering of new walk-ons to the roster, 10 players whose names I had never seen or heard before. Of these, six had numbers below 50, bringing the total of posts I had not expected to write to 15.

So, confession: although there was no post yesterday, there is a No. 47 on Northwestern's roster. His name is Tommy Odell. This is his bio, from NUsports.com:

Bio coming soon...

I am not writing a post on him, because he is my least favorite player on Northwestern's football team.

Now, as promised, onto Troy Sheppard, a 5'10, 170-pound redshirt freshman cornerback.

Origin myth

Troy's a Joliet kid, and went to Providence Catholic, a school you probably know best as the high school of Patrick Ward and Tim Hanrahan. (Or you know it as, like, a school you played against in high school. I dunno, maybe you're from Illinois.) He was defensive MVP of his Celtics squad, at the cornerback spot although he also played some wide receiver, and was a bit of a special teams ace, blocking three field goals. He also ran track as a sprinter, so he's got speed. He drew some FCS interest, but opted to walk on at Northwestern. Here's his highlight reel, which makes the smart choice to start with EVERY SINGLE INTERCEPTION EVER, then a field goal block, then TWO MORE PICKS.

Seriously, that's a lot of picks. Dude's either the world's biggest ballhawk ever or every QB in the Chicago Catholic League is Mark Sanchez. Somewhere between the two, methinks.

At Northwestern

Kid redshirted last year.

Anagram of choice

Discovering the Wildcats' true inner selves through spelling

Troy Sheppard, anagrammed, is

HARDY STOPPER

A good anagram for a safety. Makes hits, shakes it off, makes more hits. Could also refer to Batman in "The Dark Knight Rises." (Could also be: "Hydra Stopper," which is Hercules.) Anyway, it turns out this was one of the deepest anagram pools ever: (Also considered: "Hyped parrots," which is ALL PARROTS, "Spread Trophy," which is NORTHWESTERN'S 2000 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP, BABY!, "Shorty rapped," which is just something true which happens in a lot of rap songs, "Property Dash," which is definitely a TV show on whichever channel shows "Storage Wars," "Hydrate props," which is a slangy way of saying "yo, stay hydrated!", "Padres Trophy," which is the 1998 NL Championship -- or a championship won by Providence Catholic, hypothetically, because priests -- "Prophet yards," which would also probably refer to positive gains by a Catholic school, "Tardy shopper," which is your moms on Dec. 24, and "Sported harpy," which is your least favorite female sideline reporter. WOAH, that was a lot.)

Relevant musical selection

"We Ready", Pastor Troy

Pastor Troy is one of the guys Lil Jon hangs out with who yells a lot. He is not a pastor. I have never consciously listened to any of his songs, although I was aware of his existence. He does not sound very good at his job at rapping.

How he can help

Well, dude was a sprinter, and from that video, knows how to catch footballs. Can't be bad attributes for a cornerback.

Depth chart projection

We don't have Sheppard cracking the depth chart. Northwestern's cornerback spot isn't THAT deep -- Nick VanHoose, Daniel Jones, and C.J. Bryant seem guaranteed p.t., I can't really track it past there -- but it seems like a stretch to expect reps out of a redshirt freshman walk-on. Walk-on defensive backs have gained roles -- recently Ricky Weina played some relevant snaps -- but generally not as freshmen.
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