Ole Miss announced on Wednesday that defensive back Tee Shepard will quit football and concentrate on academics. Shepard was trying to overcome a knee injury, in which he tore a toe tendon that kept him out for the 2014 season.
Both Shepard and Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze issued statements confirming the news.
— Ben Garrett (@SpiritBen) October 7, 2015
“The injuries and challenges I have overcome the last few years have taken away my love for playing the game of football,” Shepard said (h/t Sun Herald). “I want to thank Rebel Nation for the support they have shown me in my time here. I want to especially thank Coach Freeze for showing me what unconditional love is like. I will always love this team and cheer them on as they compete for a championship. I look forward to completing my degree from Ole Miss and beginning the next phase of my life.”
“While we had hoped Tee would continue playing, he has chosen to conclude his career and focus on finishing his degree here at Ole Miss,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said in a statement (h/tagain Sun Herald). “We respect his decision and wish him the very best. He will always be a part of our family, and we hope he continues to use his platform to impact others.”
Shepard, a 6’1”, 195-pound junior from Fresno, California, played in all five games for the Rebels this season and racked up just two tackles before deciding to call it quits. Shepard, who is also hearing impaired, will now focus on getting his degree.