Former Bison Darrius Shepherd Heading On A New Football Journey
New Jersey Generals drafted him into the USFL
FARGO, N.D — With the seventh pick of the 15th round in the USFL Draft, the New Jersey Generals select Darrius Shepherd. Its a new adventure for former NDSU receiver Darrius Shepherd who goes from playing on NFL Sunday’s to the spring in a new football league.
Since leaving North Dakota State as the all-time leader in receiving yards Darrius Shepherd has spent the last three years in the NFL with five different teams and in those experiences has learned one big thing that can help get back with success in the USFL and the New Jersey Generals.
“Consistently showing that I can be an all-around receiver and returner. The biggest thing from being in the league was not being consistent at times,” Shepherd said. “I think I can go out there and showcase my skills. Do what I did at my days with North Dakota State. Just go out there. Have fun. Make plays that translate to making plays on Sunday’s.
Shepherd knows nothing is given. To land on spot on the Green Bay packers roster after going undrafted, he was signed through a mini-camp tryout. Its that belief continuing to make him chase after his dreams.
“I went from being a tryout player to suddenly being thrust in a bigger role,” Shepherd said. “It happened really quickly so I think being in and understanding that situation. Getting that experience helps you to grow and to mature. Over these last few years, I’ve had that chance to learn from those mistakes and work on my skills. Just improve.”
It’s been a whirlwind of a year getting opportunities and ultimately having to grind it out on different practice squads.
“I tell some people I did the whole cross country road trip this year going from my hometown Kansas City Chiefs to the Arizona Cardinals then up north with the Vikings and finished out east with Pittsburgh,” Shepherd said. “It was really cool going place to place. Seeing just how one might do it differently but it all works in the same facet. The culture is the number one thing place to place. The teams that I was on who had a lot of success, you could see and just feel it in the building.”
Taking the road less traveled has lead to this destination in a league brought back for the purpose of helping those like Shepherd find some wins again.
“My hope is to win the championship. The game would be in Canton, Ohio at the Hall of Fame which is a really fun thing,” Shepherds said. “After that, hopefully an NFL opportunity will come again and if not, we’ll just see what’s next and keep pushing.”
The USFL season kicks off April 16th on KVRR with eight teams. It’ll start in a bubble in Birmingham Alabama and build up into four host cities in year two and the respective team cities by year three.