Oct. 8, 2010
STANFORD, Calif. -
Richard Sherman is a sixth-year player from Compton, Calif., who switched from receiver to cornerback last season and has become one of the true strengths of the Cardinal defense. At Stanford, Sherman is known in particular for two plays that contributed to upset victories over USC. In 2007, Sherman caught a fourth-down pass to extend a late drive that allowed Stanford, as a 42-point underdog, to beat the Trojans, 24-23. In 2009, Sherman's fourth-quarter 43-yard interception return for a touchdown broke open a 55-21 victory. Sherman, who had two interceptions and 62 tackles last season, already has earned his degree in communication, and now is taking courses in pursuit of a double major.
A class that made an impact:
"I'm going to say Sign Language. The art of signing is a very unique skill to have. Working with a teacher who is deaf and trying to interact, and learn at the same time, is an experience. It was such a different way of looking at things. Of all the classes I've taken, that was one that really brought me in to that kind of learning."
Other classes that stood out in his mind:
"Sleep and Dreams, and Sex, Love, and Modern Society. Those are classes that you might think ... at Stanford? But in Sleep and Dreams, you learn about neurological activity while you sleep. You learn about sleep deprivation. In Sex, Love, and Modern Society, you learn about how people interact with each other. You get the title of the class and you might it's one thing, and then it's totally different."
Being assigned a roommate as a freshman, rather than living in an athletes-only dorm, as is the case at many other schools:
"At first, I didn't think I would I like it. You think, I want to room with my friends, you know. But as the year went on and I got to know my roommate, it was fun. The way you do the dorms, you're supposed to keep your door open at all times. People walk in and out. It was a great way to get to know different types of people. It's obviously a vast contrast from where I'm from originally, a pretty rough spot in L.A. Just seeing things you've never seen, trying to be articulate, and trying to learn different things and interact with different kinds of people ... it's been an experience."
How much he's improved defensively:
"I feel very comfortable. It's a lot of details now, not trying to learn defenses, or trying to learn coverages. I need to be more detail-oriented now, like Make sure your foot is in the ground and pointed in the direction you want to go; make sure your eyes are perfect, make sure you're deep in this coverage. It's more of the things within myself that I can control, that I focus on."
The switch to cornerback:
"The whole time I felt like I was a better corner than I was a receiver. I thought I would get a chance to do both when I got here. Obviously, I've gotten that chance, and I'm happy about that. But I've always liked defense better than the offense. You can control your destiny, you can control a lot more things on defense. But on offense, you can be open and want the ball, but have no impact on the game. But on defense, if you break up a deep ball, Hey, it's a great day."
Which play against USC, the fourth-down catch or interception return, has defined his career:
"I would hope it's yet to be written. Those were great moments, but it's like what Coach Harbaugh said, `It's about the present and the future. What does the future hold? What are you going to do next?' Those things are great things, but you have to move on. Maybe a couple of years down the line, when I'm done playing, I'll reflect on those great memories. But for now, it's just about making something better happen."