As far as dedicated, driven athletes go, few compare to cornerback Marcus Sherels.
His name may not be among the media buzz, but that’s just fine with Sherels. For the fourth-year CB, it’s all about football—and his main goal remains working hard and earning his spot on the roster.
Coach Zimmer stated in his August 4 press conference that he tends to keep more corners on the roster than might be expected. When asked about this, Sherels expressed that it really has no direct impact on him—his mentality will remain the same regardless. “I have no idea how many [cornerbacks] they’re going to keep,” Sherels said. “I just come out every single day and compete.”
Sherels’ effort has certainly paid off so far. In March, the 26-year-old signed a two-year deal with Minny. He was the first free agent the Vikings signed during the offseason. While his path to the NFL has not been easy, Sherels never complained. He played. Minnesota signed the undrafted Sherels to the practice squad in 2010, and he played in his first pro game in 2011. His most memorable NFL moment thus far occurred in 2012. Ironically on his 25th birthday, the Sept. 30 game against the Lions will forever be a highlight for Sherels: “my birthday game was pretty special. I scored my first punt return touchdown, and the Vikings won [over Detroit]. It was a great game.”
Vikings fans hope to see more of those returns in the upcoming season, and Sherels shares the enthusiasm. He seems optimistic about how things are going at camp thus far, and it’s obvious he is raring to go:
“I’m just looking forward to coming out, competing, and trying to win every game. We have the new coaching staff here and it’s been great so far [...] I focused a lot on stretching and getting my speed back [during the offseason]. The coaches are doing a great job of teaching us—the more reps we get, the more we improve.”
Not only does Sherels see his dream fulfilled of playing for the NFL, but he also feels blessed to play for his home state. A native of Rochester, MN, the CB grew up rooting for the Vikings with his family. Now, he is one. “It feels great [to play here],” Sherels said. “I don’t know anything other than Minnesota. I love it here [...] it’s absolute dream come true.”
During the 2013 season, Sherels set a Vikings record with a 15.2 punt return average and became the first Vikings PR man to have two returns of 50+ yards in a season. He is also only the third Viking to have multiple punt return TDs in a career.
The Vikings released their first unofficial depth chart Tuesday afternoon, and Sherels is currently penciled in at LCB behind Captain Munnerlyn and Josh Robinson. Besides any action Sherels sees at corner, it will also be interesting to see how he is utilized at special teams.