Player Profile #61 – DE/LB Jabaal Sheard

Jabaal Sheard was 11 years old. He and some of his buddies were out riding bikes in Hollywood, Florida when they rolled down a street in the tough neighborhood where they grew up.

“I came across a house and the house was smoking and the fire alarm was going off and nobody called the police and everyone was just looking at it,” Sheard remembered a decade later. “My friends and I tried to help out, so we called the police first and then we went into the house.

“It ended up being an old lady in the kitchen who had fallen down and was unconscious. It was a good thing that we did end up calling the police because they came and rescued her.”

Sheard was awarded a bravery medal for what he did that day and getting involved is something he’s carried into his life in college at the University of Pittsburgh.

Here’s the rest of his story.

FAMILY MATTERS

Jabaal Lamar Sheard.

Born – May 10, 1989 in Hollywood, Florida.

Family – Father is unknown. Mother is Evelyn Sheard. He has one brother and one sister. Jabaal grew up in Hollywood, Florida, a city of 150,000 plus that sits along the Atlantic Ocean between Ft. Lauderdale to the north and Miami to the south.

BODY OF WORK

  • Height – 6-feet, 2¾ inches.
  • Weight – 264 pounds.
  • Arm – 33½ inches.
  • Hand – 10 inches.
  • 40-yard dash – 4.68 seconds.
  • 20-yard dash – 2.63 seconds.
  • 10-yard dash – 1.59 seconds.
  • Bench press – did not participate.
  • Vertical jump – 32½ inches (Pro Day.)
  • Broad jump – 9-feet, 7 inches.

HIGH SCHOOL

Sheard was part of the graduating class of 2007 from Hollywood Hills High School in the Broward County Public Schools in Hollywood, Florida. He played three seasons for the Spartans and coach Al Lang.

He was named All-Broward County defensive lineman as senior.

He lettered in track and field, placing fourth in the shot put at the state meet and he also ran the 200 meters.

FOOTBALL

2006 – Sheard posted 54 tackles and 11 sacks on the season.

2005 – In his junior season, he had 28 tackles and eight sacks

RECRUITING

Sheard drew a lot of attention by all the schools that pull players out of south Florida – Pittsburgh, Arizona State, Auburn, Florida International, Miami, Minnesota and Rutgers. He essentially cut his options down very early to three schools – Pitt, Arizona State and Rutgers. He committed to the Panthers in February 2007.

COLLEGE

Sheard is a forensic science/administration of justice major at the University of Pittsburgh, 15 credits short of his degree.

After the 2010 season, he earned first-team All-America status from the American Football Coaches Association. He was named the Big East Conference defensive player of the year and first-team All-Big East defense.

2010 – (Team captain) Started at DE in all 13 games, finished with 52 tackles and 9 sacks. Early in the season against Miami, he had 6 total tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks and 2 QB hurries.

2009 – Started at DE in all 13 games, finishing the season with 42 tackles and 5 sacks. Against Notre Dame, he had 3 tackles, 2 TFL, a sack and 4 QB hurries.

2008 – Sheard started all 13 games at defensive end for the Panthers. He had 45 tackles and 5.5 sacks. His best performance came at Navy when he had 6 tackles, 2 TFL and a sack.

2007 – As a true freshman, Sheard contributed as a reserve defensive end, playing in 9 games. He had 3 tackles and 2 PBUs.

 Year

 

G

 

S

Tot.

Tkl.

 

TFL

 

Sks.

 

Hur.

 

PBU

 

FF

 

RF

2010

13

13

52

14.5

9

15

4

4

1

2009

13

13

42

10.5

5

12

3

0

0

2008

13

13

45

10.5

5.5

11

7

1

1

2007

9

0

3

0

0

0

2

0

0

Totals

48

39

142

35.5

19.5

38

9

5

2

MEDICAL

2009 – He suffered a knee injury in the summer of 2009, but did not miss a game that fall.

2010 – Sheard had minor surgery on his left elbow in December 2010 and that kept him out of Pitt’s bowl game. “I hurt my elbow about seven years ago,” he said. “I wasn’t able to put my left arm down. I played with it and decided before the NFL I should get it taken care of, so I had the surgery.”

JURISPRUDENCE

On Saturday evening, July 18, 2010, Sheard was arrested on aggravated assault, criminal mischief and resisting arrest charges that stemmed from a brawl that occurred on Carson Street in Pittsburgh’s South Side entertainment district.

Pittsburgh Police were called to an area outside La Fond Galleries on East Carson Street. They found Sheard and Edwin Parker involved in a fight. Sheard refused to stop fighting, despite warnings from the police. He eventually threw Parker through the glass doors of the gallery and continued punching him. Eventually police had to use pepper gas to get Sheard’s attention and stop the attack.

He was arraigned the next morning and the University of Pittsburgh handed Sheard an indefinite suspension. He eventually pleaded guilty to a single summary offense. The other charges were withdrawn by prosecutors and he was ordered to pay restitution for injuries and damages from the incident. The judge also ordered him to write a letter of apology to the victim.

EVALUATION FOR PRO FOOTBALL

Strengths – While he’s not the prototypical size for a college defensive end, Sheard makes up for his physical deficiencies by understanding leverage, bending his knees and playing smart football. On the pass rush, Sheard does a great job with the power rush, getting under the pads of those blocking him and pushing his way into the pocket. He’s got a non-stop motor and hustles on every play to gain an edge.

Weaknesses – Stiff hips give him only average agility and flexibility and that hurts him in the pass rush from the edge. He needs to develop more pass rushing moves, as he relies too much on the bull rush. Sheard doesn’t explode on the snap.

Analysis – Sheard was a leader on the Pitt team and was voted one of the three team captains by the players. He’s a poor man’s Tamba Hali right now – about the same size and he plays with the same type of non-stop motor and hustle that the Chiefs have seen over the years from Hali. NFL types are split on whether he would be a better end in the 4-3, or outside LB in the 3-4. Unknown is his ability to drop in pass coverage.

WHAT THE SCOUTS SAY

From an NFC defensive coordinator – “I like this kid. He plays on the edge, never gears it down and is all about intensity. Sheard is a bright guy too; you can see that on the tape. He reads things pretty well and reacts well. He needs work on his pass rush, but the skills are there.”

WHAT HE HAD TO SAY

“Well, I’m a hard worker. I’m willing to get the job done and I’m a competitor. I love winning and I’m a guy that will do whatever it takes to get on the field. You can put me on special teams, wherever you need me. I’m also that guy who stands out as a leader. I have a voice, and I try to speak up when guys need motivation. I’m self-motivated, and I just come from a hard background, I mean, I come from a tough neighborhood with a strong family who built all that in me.”

WHAT OTHERS SAID ABOUT HIM

Former Pitt head coach Dave Wannstedt – “When I made my home visit, we talked for a bit and then he said he had to go, so I asked him where he was going? He said he was going to work — he had a job as a lifeguard — and he said the reason he was working was to help his mom pay the bills. I remember saying to myself ‘wow’ because here is a kid who is concerned about helping his mom, who is responsible enough to work a job interacting with people and helping people. That said all I needed to know about him.”

DOES HE FIT WITH THE CHIEFS?

Could be a consideration as an OLB opposite of Tamba Hali, or in Hali’s place – remember his contract is up right now and he’s been franchised by the Chiefs, meaning they can guarantee his services for just the 2011 season at this point. Sheard has many of the qualities that Pioli/Haley seeks. How serious they might be would depend on how much of a hole they think they have at the position, especially placing Tamba Hali.

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