Asmussen | Sherfield awaits NFL draft call

Asmussen | Sherfield awaits NFL draft call

It's been a great year for Trent Sherfield and family. When the call comes later this week, the excitement hits another level.

The Vanderbilt senior watched his brother/friend Donte Ingram help Loyola Chicago reach the Final Four.

Now, it's his turn.

The Danville High School graduate expects to be picked no later than the fifth round in the NFL draft, which starts Thursday in Arlington, Texas.

"I've been calling it 'YODD. It's the Year of Divine Double," Sherfield said.

Sherfield has talked with a bunch of teams leading up to the draft. Though he grew up a Bears fan (his grandmother insisted), Sherfield will happily play for whoever calls.

He wants a chance. That's it.

He has earned it. Sherfield caught 136 passes in four years as a Vanderbilt receiver. Not bad for a guy who went to Nashville as a defensive back. He had at least 50 receptions in 2015 and '17.

About to earn his Vanderbilt degree, Sherfield helped himself with an exceptional pro timing day performance. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39.

"I'm a real goal-oriented guy," Sherfield said. "I knew I wanted to run a 4.39."

He carried a stop watch as a reminder. Even slept with it. Whatever works.

The phone started buzzing after the 4.39. The NFL personnel people will talk about leadership and character. But what they really want is fast, athletic guys. Like the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Sherfield.

"It was a blessing," he said.

Lifetime dream

Sherfield started thinking about the NFL back in middle school at South View and North Ridge.

"I always knew that I wanted to play in the NFL," Sherfield said.

There was a practical side to the football dream. His mom told him in high school he would have to earn his own way to college.

"I had to do whatever it took to get that scholarship," Sherfield said. "Once I got that scholarship to play in the SEC, I started chasing my goal for the NFL."

He had other college options, including Illinois. But Sherfield wanted the SEC experience.

"I was going up against those top guys, holding my own," Sherfield said.

The SEC added to his confidence, especially after playing quarterback during his stellar prep career with the Vikings.

"I totally feel I'm a complete wide receiver now," Sherfield said. "I knew I could always excel. That's one thing that my mom always taught me: that I could do anything I put my mind to no matter how hard it was."

Proud Viking

Sherfield will be back in Danville for draft week. The family plans a watch party Saturday on the Danville Area Community Collge campus. His stepdad is DACC men's basketball coach DaJuan Gouard.

"Danville means a lot to me," Sherfield said. "That's where I grew up. That's my home. It will always be my home. That's what shaped me into the man that I am now."

There are plenty of Danville influences. His family, of course. And Glen Rowell.

"He would always train me and we would go so hard," Sherfield said. "We would work out four times a day. He knew what I wanted to do and he pushed me so I could get that goal."

Others played a part. Like Aarian Forman, who Sherfield calls his mentor.

"He always kept my head on straight from a spiritual aspect," Sherfield said. "I'm real big on my Christian faith. He was always there."

And high school teammate Chris Collier.

"We always pushed each other," Sherfield said.

Sherfield wants to join another ex-Viking in the NFL club. Justin March-Lillard plays linebacker for the Cowboys.

"He's doing a heckuva job," Sherfield said. "Kudos to him. It will be really cool to see him on Sundays."

Bob Asmussen can be reached at 217-351-5233 or by email at asmussen@news-gazette.com.