After the 2019 football season, Colorado’s Will Sherman had thoughts of going to the NFL.
The Buffaloes’ left tackle had more to do in Boulder, however. While this past season was shortened by the coronavirus pandemic, it allowed Sherman to accomplish some goals and on Friday he announced his decision to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.
“My goal, when coming to Colorado, was to be able to play in big games, graduate and then really just make it to a bowl game,” Sherman told BuffZone about his decision. “This season, we ended up getting ranked 21st, making it to a bowl game. Now, just having three classes left until I graduate, I feel like I’ve checked all the boxes and now’s the time.”
Sherman is just the 11th player in CU history to forgo his senior year and declare early for the draft, but the third to do so in the last four years, joining cornerback Isaiah Oliver in 2018 season and receiver Laviska Shenault last year.
“I had some family friends who have helped me throughout this, who had some experience in the NFL,” said Sherman, who plans to finish his final three classes online this spring. “I just talked to them and then the family, obviously.”
Sherman said he made his decision a couple weeks ago. He didn’t discuss it too much with CU head coach Karl Dorrell, but said, “Even though he didn’t recruit me or wasn’t here more than one season, I definitely wanted to let him know face to face, just because I am very appreciative of what he did for us this year.”
Dorrell helped Sherman achieve some of his on-the-field goals, including a winning season (4-2) and a trip to the Valero Alamo Bowl, where the Buffs lost to Texas, 55-23, on Dec. 29.
The 6-foot-4, 305-pound Sherman, from Allen, Texas, was the anchor of the Buffs’ offensive line and was named second-team All-Pac-12 by coaches and media this season.
Recruited to CU by former head coach Mike MacIntyre and offensive line coach Klayton Adams, Sherman redshirted in 2017. He then played in 30 games over the past three years, including starting the Buffs’ last 27 games.
Sherman was CU’s left tackle for nine games in 2018 under MacIntyre and Adams. After that staff was let go, head coach Mel Tucker and offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic moved Sherman to right tackle in 2019, in part because they signed graduate transfer Arlington Hambright — now with the Chicago Bears — to play left tackle.
More change came in February when Tucker bolted for Michigan State, taking Kapilovic with him. Suddenly, Sherman had yet another new head coach and offensive line coach, Mitch Rodrigue.
“Kap really taught me a lot about the game in general and about being a great offensive lineman,” Sherman said. “I thought after Kap I was going to be maxed out and not be able to learn anything else, but having Rod come in, too, and I still have things from coach Adams that I know, as well.
“Being able to use all three of those coaches’ knowledge has definitely been very beneficial and will be very beneficial in the league, too.”
Sherman will be working with Priority Sports and agents Mike McCartney and Jayme Moten. Although he played tackle at CU, Sherman said he expects to play on the interior of the line (guard or center) in the NFL and hopes to attract scouts with his versatility.
“Being able to play all four positions and even working on snapping so that I can be able to play all five (will be beneficial),” he said. “I definitely want to have a major emphasis on finish in my game. That’s something that I definitely want to improve is my finish when blocking.”
Sherman believes he’s still developing his game and has room to grow. He’s also been a leader and has proven to have the mentality to adapt to different offensive systems.
“I think I’d be able to fit in any system and be able to help any organization,” he said. “That’s the goal.”
At CU, Sherman was able to achieve many of his goals, even if the finale at the Alamo Bowl wasn’t pretty.
“Everybody was pretty upset,” he said. “Although we weren’t at full strength, we still went into that game wanting to win and compete with Texas and weren’t able to do either one of those things, so everybody was pretty upset.”
It was still a good first season under Dorrell, Sherman said.
“It was very interesting,” Sherman said. “His first practice with us was in October, so it was a pretty rushed year, but I thought everybody just wanted to win. There wasn’t really room for disliking this coach or not liking the way he did this or that because everybody just had one goal and that’s just win.
“I think the team definitely loves coach Dorrell.”
While Dorrell’s journey as CU head coach is just getting started, Sherman’s time at CU is coming to a close and he’s enjoyed the journey.
“Technique wise, weight wise, football IQ wise, it’s just been an awesome journey at Colorado,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot and I feel like I’m ready to take that to the next level.”