University of South Dakota football player's Noah Shepard and Ko Quaye signed free agent deals with National Football League teams after the draft completed on Saturday. Shepard agreed to terms with the Green Back Packers, while Quaye joined the Jacksonville Jaguars.
One of the best quarterbacks in Coyote history, Shepard (Thornton, CO) completed his march through the USD record books last fall. He finished as South Dakota's all-time leader in passing touchdowns (77), passing yards (8,936) and total offense (11,133), while ranking second in rushing touchdowns (36). He also earned USD's single-season completions records (188) and posted multiple entries in USD's single-season top-10 charts. Shepard, who will leave for Wisconsin on Tuesday, was the only quarterback the Packers invited to minicamp.
"It was a great feeling (to get that phone call)," Shepard said. "It means a lot of hard work paid off. I still see it as a big chip on my shoulder that I wasn't drafted, though. I still have something to prove and I'm looking forward to getting to Green Bay."
Quaye (Brooklyn Park, MN) earned All-America honors last fall from The Sports Network after finishing with 31 tackles, including 15 solo stops. He earned seven tackles for loss for 22 yards, which ranked 10th in the Great West Conference. He helped the Coyotes finish first in the league in scoring defense (27.2 ppg) and rushing defense (108.1 ypg) to claim USD's Defensive Player-of-the-Year accolades. He was also named to the All-GWC first team. Quaye will play for the Jaguars as a defensive tackle.
"It was kind of surreal," Quaye said. "My agent called me and said, 'It is official, you are going to be a Jaguar.' Now I just want to get better and better. I want to show everybody in the country that small school guys are still talented."