Name: Marcus McShepard
Position: Defensive Back
Q: What were some of your goals heading into your final collegiate season?
I wanted to focus on being consistent with my movements, especially coming out of my break. I also wanted to make sure that i was putting fourth that extra effort which a lot of times were little things like punching on the ball or backside pursuit. We preach focusing on the minor details to minimize mistakes. Lastly, I wanted to continue the winning culture at Northwestern with winning a Big 10 championship. We fell short of that, but had another successful 10 win season including an amazing bowl game.
Q: If you could describe your style of play in 3 words, what would they be?
Fast, persistent, and smooth.
Q: How will you train and prepare this offseason for the draft or other pro opportunities?
I started my training at TCBoost here in Chicago. Now I’m continuing to focus on good footwork habits as well conditioning. This is a special opportunity in which we can’t be out of shape, so my plan is to just continue with our workout plan and to get extra reps at things that I believe I can improve on athletically.
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on or look for?
The first thing I look for is what type of quarterback are we facing during that week. Then I like to see how long his offensive line gives him to stay in the pocket and deliver a ball. After I find out what type of quarterback we are going up against, I check to see what kind of defense they are playing against and if it is similar to our defensive schemes.I then start to study receiver’s style and tendencies to see if we can catch any hints that could lead to a big play come game day. Lastly, I look for key route combinations that the opposing team is favoring.
Q: What separates you from the other players at your position?
I believe I have great recovery speed that allows me to get out of my pedal a lot later than most other DBs. I also played under a great defensive coordinator as well as a great defensive backs coach who taught us multiple coverages and what to look for in route recognition. So I’d say I’m more cerebral when it comes to understanding what an offense is trying to manipulate our defense to do.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
I’ve been a very well liked guy everywhere I go, whether it’s been football, in school, or just the community. I’ve been someone who has boosted the camaraderie and tradition of groups of people which I pride myself on. At the same time, I’m someone who believes in hard work and doing my job knowing that others depend on.
Q: What is your final pitch or sell to NFL and other pro league scouts?
I would say that my finial pitch is that my career at Northwestern has pushed me to go as hard as I can for as long as I can in everything that I do. So wherever I’m wanted in any organization, I’m going to give it my all.