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Marcus Sherels Ready to Contribute to Zimmer Defense

(photo by Chris Price)
(photo by Chris Price)

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.

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Lindsey Young

Lindsey Young (Featured Columnist) is a graduate of University of Northwestern – St. Paul and is an avid Minnesota sports fan[atic]. It’s been argued females don’t know much about sports, but she begs to differ. Her work has been featured on Bleacher Report,, and Fox Sports North. In addition to her work with VT, Lindsey is a contributing writer for Canis Hoopus, runs a bi-monthly fan feature for and is a freelance writer for You can read her blog at Making the Call and follow her on Twitter.

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  1. Thanks Lindsey, good read. When you said “he is also only the third Viking to have multiple punt return TDs in a career,” who were the other two? I suppose I could look it up but I’m inherently lazy.

    It’s tough not to root for this kid. Minnesota native, sure, but he’s thus far drama free, and seems like he works hard.

  2. Great article Lindsey! There were a couple articles out there today that I read about Sherels and yours was the best.
    I’ve always liked that guy. I knew he was a workhorse with an excellent work ethic. Sure glad we’ll have him returning punts again this year. And who knows, with this totally new, revamped defense and Coach Zimmer what this guy can become.

    1. I will be posting two more articles on Captain Munnerlyn (tonight) and Gerald Hodges (tomorrow) — be sure to come back and check them out!

      1. Oh cool, I look forward to the Munnerlyn article tonight.

        By the way, don’t ever write an article on Fran the Man, it’d just be about naps, and trying to find the misplaced pencil that’s actually been behind his ear the whole time.

  3. Awesome job again on the article. Written very well like the others, and good interview. It’s not just the mainstream stuff we hear about the players. You go into it and find some great small details that we haven’t read anywhere else. Keep it up!

  4. He’s really made the most of his opportunity. I love that he’s a Viking fan from Minnesota. That is sweet.

  5. Cool…good stuff Lindsey. Sherels is my kind of player, kind of like Winfield was. Speaking of Antoine…that dude Sherels is matched up against in the picture above is wearing his number. I don’t like it! Still pissed at Spielman for that, coach Frazier too. Big reason this team lost 10 games last year, the secondary was missing their leader! Big mistake.

        1. Still with the groaners, eh Tomb? Nice to know there are still constants in today’s world. Thought of you as Mrs. Grant and I are spending a few days in the beautiful state of Oregon. You still have your tent pitched out here?

          Like what I see and hear of Bridgewater so far. Of course he hasn’t played so much as a preseason snap yet, but so far so good. It all comes down to the O-line anyway, so no matter.

  6. I’m confused…. he turned 25 in 2011, but he’s only 26 now in 2014? I knew he was fast, didn’t know he was fast enough to slow down time…

    1. Actually, his age is accurate (he turns 27 in Sept), but I made an error with the date of the PR game. Thank you for catching this – will be corrected soon!