For Jordan Sherit and his goal minded mentality, there is always that next mission to accomplish. From winning a football championship, to getting healthy after major surgery, to helping complete the recruiting class he is part of, to being the best he can in school, settling for second best is not on the agenda of the ferocious pass rusher.
The big personal goal for himself right now is to heal. A torn ACL during the middle of the season ended it abruptly, but Sherit is determined to make sure that injury does not slow down his college career.
“I’m at a little more than three months after surgery so I actually started jogging this week,” Sherit said in a phone conversation early last week. “They say I am ahead of schedule and no reason why after three months that I shouldn’t be 100%. I am just doing what they tell me. I am cleared to run in a straight line so I have been jogging like crazy. It has been a while since I was able to run so I’m loving it right now.
Sherit lost some weight leading up to the surgery on his knee, but he has ben working hard even without the leg strength to bulk back up. He went from 220 pounds post-surgery to 240 pounds right now. He knows he has to be ready to bust his tail when he arrives at Florida.
“When I get up to Gainesville I know Coach Muschamp is going to run me until I can’t anymore, so I am getting ready,” he said.
Sherit was off to a great start registering 6.5 sacks in limited play through five games when he was injured. The absolute leader in the clubhouse, Sherit used his time away from the field to motivate his team and he eventually was extremely proud of their accomplishments.
“The big part for me was the guys that replaced me and stepped up on the defensive line were amazing,” he said. “We ended up beating Armwood (in the regular season) and won our first (district) championship in a long time. I didn’t have much to do with it, I was just trying to help those guys any way I could, but the way they responded and the way they just took in what I had to say, it was great. You dream of having that kind of power or influence on a team. It obviously wasn’t the way I planned it, but the way I was able to influence those guys… that was special.”
He had their attention because they have seen him work hard and relentlessly throughout his career and they knew how much it all meant to Sherit.
“I just come out and work as hard as I can,” he said. “I just want to be a positive influence on my teammates. It is kind of special when you are speaking in the locker room and everyone is quiet. You have some guys that joke around sometimes, but when I spoke before the games I had everyone’s attention… it was awesome.”
His Mission at Florida
At 240 pounds Sherit is already getting close to where h4e needs to be to compete on the edge of the line. Florida wants him at the BUCK position and Sherit is likely the highest rated player in the Southeast that could perform thise duties at Florida.
There is no pressure to perform quickly, but Sherit can feel it in himself and the expectations from the staff and Florida head coach Will Muschamp wants him ready in year one to get on the football field.
“He wants me to play BUCK,” Sherit said of Muschamp. “He says Dante Fowler is getting bigger and he says it is me and Ronald Powell and both are coming off of the same injury. I always speak to Powell when I go up there about the recovery process and he’s a great guy to talk to.
“I talked to him about red-shirting, but he didn’t want to talk about it. I am the one that always brings it up. I want to just know where I am at in the process. He says with the timetable, we want you ready in six months like Adrian Peterson.”
With his weight, the staff feels it is more important to maintain quickness than to bulk up under no direction of the weight staff.
“He says there is no specific weight, he just wants me to keep my speed and then come in and train,” Sherit said “Where my body is right now I am definitely looking at the BICK position, at least until the scientist Jeff Dillman can get his hands on me and do some crazy things.
He had to prove himself to the Gator staff after a sophomore campaign where he played out of position to help his team.
“My recruitment at Florida was kind of spotty at first because my sophomore year I played left tackle, so I was kind of off the radar,” he said. “When Florida looked at my tape it was as a tackle, and then when they saw my junior tape they started really recruiting me.”
After seeing him in action on the defensive line, the Gators were fast to make a move on Sherit, who is likely one of the two top BUCK position athletes in the southeast in the eyes of the staff.
“They told me they love the relentlessness and going after it 100% on every play,” he said. “They say you can’t teach that and no matter how big, strong, or fast a guy is not many guys give you 100% to the ball no matter if the ball is 80 yards down the field. Muschamp said they came to a playoff game and I was a guy that wasn’t giving up on any play. That is how I’ve been raised and play football.”
Sherit’s ability on the field is something he has never taken for granted.
“I think guys that play football don’t understand how blessed they are and just how easy it all can be taken from them, he said. “Once you understand that… I am so hungry to get on the field because it has been so long. I will work so hard to get back and do that.”
The Recruiting Mission
One thing you get from talking to Jordan Sherit is his since of character. The kid speaks from the heart and means what he says. That is one thing that kind of took him a while to actually tell Florida he was going to be a Gator after really wanting that offer. He just didn’t want to make a decision and then have to change it.
“The recruitment was odd at first,” Sherit admitted. “I wanted to take some visits because everyone told me to take the visits and have some fun. But, there is no sense in wasting everyone’s time when I knew that the University of Florida was the place I wanted to be. I told the coaches all along, they were on me for quite some time.
“I told them when I commit, I commit. It isn’t going to be just the football part of it. It’s the academics, the people, the atmosphere. When I give you my word, I will recruit for my class.”
"Boys, there's a new Sherit in town"
If you have followed recruiting closely this year, you would know that Sherit along with fellow Florida signee Nick Washington have been two guys that have been all over the prospects Florida has been trying to sign and helping persuade them in the matter. It has been a little bit of a rivalry between Sherit and Washington as to who the best recruiter is in the class. The Gators cleaned up in the Tampa area yet again and guys like linebacker Matt Rolin and Alex Anzalone are feathers in the recruiting cap for the Tampa lineman. Nick Washington did his share and had the clubhouse lead in the beginning, but in the immortal words of Reggie Hammond in the movie ’48 Hours’, “Boys, there’s a new ‘Sherit’ in town”.
“Nick and I go back and forth for ‘recruiter of the year’ but for me I am just a guy that wants to be around other guys like myself,” he said. “I found my home and it is crazy how when you watch a Florida game. I have watched every play and played it back. I watch the BUCK and defensive positions and called Coach Quinn with questions the next day. I am just full force a Gator… it’s just in my blood.”
No doubt Sherit was one offering feedback to the staff on kids when they visited. He came on multiple trips for visit weekends to check out the guys he would be going to war on Saturdays with and he loved it.
“That is the most exciting thing for me,” he said of recruiting the others to the Gators. “Not many people know that when Matt Rolin came to visit I was there. When Alex Anzalone visited, I was there. That is the biggest thing to me… it is sad to say, but a lot of times coaches can come and go but the players you have and family and roster that you put around you, that is what makes it a team.
“If you have problems in the locker room, you can’t get past it and be successful. I am not one for rankings and I have seen we are ranked high, but, for me, you can’t rank character and for me that is what we have. These guys are great on and off the field. These are guys I just love being around. Alex and I are going to be in the honors college and there is stuff like that. A lot of guys are involved in the community. Vernon Hargreaves III is doing stuff with kids. It just makes it more exciting for me to get down there and work and hopefully all of that work will help us get some rings for Coach Muschamp… that’s our main goal.”
The New Mission Starts
He is now loving life and looking forward to his future with a bunch of Gators that he can call friends and now family and he has found that the family stretches far from Gainesville.
“Being a part of the Gator Nation, especially where I live, the response is crazy,” he said. “I can walk in the mall and people say ‘there’s a Gator commit’. It is crazy how widespread Gator fever is in the state.”
And now he is prepared to get himself ready to compete when he shows up. He understands the work ahead and understands that he has to pay his dues to make things work like he wants them to.
“In year one, it will take time and we will have to see about the injury,” he said. “I want to learn from Ronald Powell as a mentor. I want to learn what he has done before and after the injury and how he’s worked to fight back from it. I like the way he carries himself, so I want to learn under guys like that.
“I always help the team any way I can, whether that is the scout team giving the offensive line some work, or if I am back 100% and can get on the field rushing the passer. I just want to help the team any way I can. I am not about me, I am about the team. If we get the ‘W’ it doesn’t matter how many downs I play. We are just a family and what we built so far, I am just excited about the future.”