JaCorey Shepherd Named 2014 Senior CLASS Finalist
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas senior cornerback/kick returner JaCorey Shepherd was named one of 10 finalists for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award Tuesday afternoon. Shepherd, a native of Mesquite, Texas, is the first Jayhawk tabbed as a finalist since Darrell Stuckey in 2009, and one of three players representing the Big 12 Conference.
The Senior CLASS Award is intended to honor student-athletes who excel both on and off the field in collegiate football. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I FBS senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
On top of being a two-time Academic All-Big 12 Second Team honoree, Shepherd is an active member of Big Brothers Big Sisters, spending time weekly with his little brother despite his demanding schedule. He has also been active in the local community volunteering at various local elementary schools as a reader/mentor and taking part in several elementary school carnivals and field days. He has also participated in Hawks, Cops and Kids, along with several football clinics with both the special needs community and local area elementary school children.
Shepherd, who recently picked up the Best Jayhawk in a Supporting Role award at the 2013-14 Rock Chalk Choice Awards, was Kansas football’s 2013 Galen Fiss Award winner for demonstrating exemplary service to community and campus. He was selected to attend the 2013 Big 12 Conference Leadership Summit and has served on the Kansas football leadership council. Additionally, he was chosen to take part in the Jayhawk Emergent Leader Retreat in the summer of 2012.
Shepherd also shines on the field for the Jayhawks as he currently leads the Big 12 Conference and ranks third nationally in passes defended with 16 on the season. Shepherd’s 16 passes defended come by way of 14 pass breakups and two interceptions. He had a career-game in leading Kansas to a win over Iowa State in its last outing as he posted five pass breakups and one interception. His six passes defended are a single-game high in the NCAA this season.
Shepherd also is the top kick returner for Kansas. He has 28 returns for 589 yards, including a long return of 33 yards in 2014. He currently sits in fourth place on the KU all-time chart for kickoff return yards with 1,166, while ranking sixth all-time in kickoff returns.
The 10 finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 candidates announced in September. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the one candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website through December 15. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the football bowl season in early January.
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