JaCorey Shepherd Named a Finalist for the Lee Roy Selmon Community Spirit Award
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas senior cornerback/kick returner JaCorey Shepherd was named one of three finalists for the 2014 Lee Roy Selmon Community Spirit Award, as selected by the Selmon Family and presented by The Premier Players Sports Foundation. Shepherd, a native of Mesquite, Texas, is the first Jayhawk tabbed as a finalist in the three-year history of the award.
The Lee Roy Selmon Spirit Award recognizes athletes who go above the call of a student, amateur or professional athlete by demonstrating a deep care for others and their community. Selmon, who was the number one pick of the 1976 NFL Draft after helping Oklahoma win two national titles, never let the game of football define who he was, he lived by faith and touched many people in special ways. The Lee Roy Selmon Community Spirit Award honors athletes who show a love for others and a connection to the moral growth of their community.
Shepherd personifies exactly what the Lee Roy Selmon Community Spirit Award is all about. He displays sportsmanship and ethical conduct in everything he does. An outstanding teammate, Shepherd is an active member of Big Brothers, Big Sisters, spending quality time weekly with his “Little,” Christopher. In addition to the time he spends with Big Brothers, Big Sisters, he has also been active in the local community volunteering at KU’s Hawks, Cops and Kids, various local elementary schools as a reader/mentor and taking part in several carnivals and field days. Shepherd has also participated in several football clinics with both the special needs community and local area elementary school children.
Shepherd was Kansas Football’s 2013 Galen Fiss Award winner for demonstrating exemplary service to community and campus. Most recently Shepherd was selected as one of 10 finalist for the Senior CLASS Award and took home the Rock Chalk Choice Award for Best Jayhawk in a Supporting Role. Additionally, he was Kansas’ nominee for the 2013-14 Big 12 Conference Male Sportsperson of the Year.
On top of his community involvement, Shepherd is an excellent student. He is on schedule to graduate from the University of Kansas, School of Business in May 2015 with a degree in management and leadership. He has won several academic awards including being a two-time Academic All-Big 12 Second Team honoree and a four-time Athletic Director’s Honor Roll member.
Shepherd’s selfless attitude also extends to the field of play. After playing in 10 games at wide receiver as a freshman, he converted to his current position of cornerback as a sophomore in 2012. An All-Big 12 Conference corner, Shepherd started each of Kansas’ last 25 games in the defensive backfield. He currently leads the Big 12 and ranks second in the NCAA with 18 passes defended, including 15 pass breakups and three 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 34 returns for 708 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 1,285, while also ranking fourth all-time in kickoff returns with 60—despite only returning kicks as a junior and senior.
The Lee Roy Selmon Community Spirit Award will be presented at The 2014 Premier Player of College Football charitable awards dinner in Tampa, Florida, on Dec. 10 at the InterContinental Hotel. Other awards given out that evening will be the Premier Player of College Football and the Premier Coach of College Football, along with the Freddie Solomon Spirit Award.
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