NFL Alum Russell Shepard Wastes No Time In New Career Role
Recently-retired wide receiver Russell Shepard (above) does not fit any of the negative stereotypes that our critics like to paint of NFL alumni.
His pro career began in 2013 and he played an above-average seven seasons with the Buccaneers, Panthers and Giants.
Shepard, a Houston native, started planning for NFL retirement immediately after his rookie year. He purchased a used truck for $30,000 at that time and drove gravel, dirt, and glass between construction sites in his hometown during his first NFL off-season. Not exactly how you picture a young player spending his first free months after a long football season.
In subsequent years, Shepard bought additional trucks and hired a few drivers. Trucking was in his genes since his father and grandfather had driven dump trucks in their younger days. Shepard reached the point where he turned over his trucking business to his parents, who still lived in Texas. He then turned his attention to investing in several other small companies.
Fast forward to early 2020 when he formally announced his NFL retirement. After a discussion with a family friend, the 30-year old Shepard became founder and owner of Shep Boys Waste Management. He purchased a vacuum truck, 125 bright orange portable toilets, 50 hand-wash stations and 20 holding tanks just as the COVD-19 pandemic struck his home state. His work-days now began around 4:30AM and extend until the evening with hours of manual labor at different sites filling that time.
Shepard’s new unglamorous business is doing well. In recent months, his company has been flooded with requests from construction companies across the Lonestar State for portable toilets equipped with hand sanitizer dispensers and ventilation fans. His company now handles 3,000 gallons of human waste each week.
The waste management business is not exactly the type of glitzy enterprise that our critics associate with retired NFL players.
There is also the question of whether 2020 was the best year to start a new business but Shepard is pressing forward. He recently decided to buy another truck and 250 units early next year.
“I’ve maybe seen it different than anybody else,” he recently explained to SI.com. “People have said ‘Why would you start a company in a pandemic?’ And I’m like ‘why not?’ It’s going to be a new norm going forward and we can be one of the first companies to create it. I’m on edge right now thinking how I can grow this business but not too fast.”
We at NFL Alumni wish only success for our young brother Russell Shepard. His entrepreneurial, blue-collar story is just one more example of the drive and ambition that it takes to be successful on the field…and beyond.