The good: today’s player can help fill he void at the slot position left by Rondale Moore. The bad: He might be sitting a few games to start the year.
TJ Sheffield - So.
Thompson’s Station, TN (Independence HS)
5’11”, 185 pounds
2021 Projection: Starter (eventually)
Sheffield has spent two years in the program and was recruited mostly as the heir apparent to Rondale in the slot. He played sparingly in 2019, catching 2 passes for 12 yards against Minnesota. He only appeared in 3 games, so he maintained his redshirt.
Last season he saw more action. He caught two more passes for 11 yards, but he returned 19 kickoffs for 397 yards and had a long of 41 against Nebraska. He was expected to slide into the starter’s role in the slot this season now that Rondale is gone.
Unfortunately, he had himself a night on May 2nd:
At 2:21 a.m. May 2, Jack Albers, Sheffield’s roommate and teammate, called for help, saying Sheffield might have alcohol poisoning and had blood in his vomit, according to incident notes filed June 30 with the charge of battery on a public safety official, a Level 6 felony.
The incident notes also indicate that Wabash Township firefighters arrived at Sheffield’s apartment at 2303 Willowbrook Circle and reported an unruly patient, but he quickly calmed down, according to the times on the notes.
When paramedics arrived, they moved Sheffield from a chair to a stretcher. As one of the paramedics reached for a strap to secure Sheffield to the stretcher, he forcefully bit her, according to prosecutors.
Sheffield is currently facing charges from the incident, so his status for the first few games is in limbo. He is almost certainly facing a suspension of some sort, though no official word has come down. When (if) he returns to the field he should be a solid contributor. In the meantime, it likely means more playing time for Jackson Anthrop. In his senior year in high school Sheffield was a 4-star recruit with 75 receptions for 1,550 yards and 15 touchdowns. He added 130 yards and four more touchdowns on the ground, too.