Kan Li / Scout

Jordan Sherit is a leader on the field for Gators

Redshirt junior defensive end Jordan Sherit got a lot of playing time on the field in 2015 for the Florida Gators. From those experiences he has learned a lot and expects to have a better 2016 because of it. He also loves sharing that wealth of knowledge with the group of young guys in his unit.

Defensive line coach Chris Rumph sees Jordan Sherit kind of like another coach on the field. Listening talk about goals, you would think he is a coach.

“Individually just build off of what I did last year,” he answered when asked about his goals for 2016. “I think as a D-line we have a lot of big goals all together. Obviously just, for us right now it’s just winning games and that first one is UMass.”

Sherit has gotten a better understanding of the game he plays, he’s applied the game time on the field last year to the film room and now things have slowed down so he can actually play much faster.

“My body feels better than it ever has,” he said. “I think year two under this coaching staff, I mean, I’m seeing the game a whole different way, the game has slowed down so much since I was a freshman. I’m excited to get on the field and show it Saturday.”

The film room should pay off not only for him, but also his line mates this fall.

"Being able to watch film and kind of knowing what the play is before it even happens,” he said. “Coach Rumph, we have exit meetings after every spring, that's one of the things he spoke a lot to me about is that he thinks I could kind of use my intelligence and know (what the) offense is before they even snap the ball. I think that's something that could just make us that much better. You don't have to be super-fast or super strong to have that. If you study the game and you're a student of the game, then it makes it a lot easier for you."

When prodded on specifics, he talked about watching the tight end and their stance or their position on the field before the snap.

"(There are) different stances guys will give you, different formations,” he said. “Me and Bryan (Cox) do a good job of reading the Y-offs across the formation. If they're kind of inside the tackle box you kind of expect a zone divide play coming, and we do a good job communicating that and that's kind of trickled down to the younger guys too. So having us all play that same kind of defense is definitely (contributing to) success for us." 

Sherit is big on doing the right things and what the coaches ask. Head coach Jim McElwain is big on guys that do all of that and Sherit is a guy he can point to that will have some success from that.

“One thing that he said a lot, talked a lot about is just how we do things, how winning programs do things,” Sherit said of McElwain. “We’ve had speakers come in all through camp and something that kind of stuck out, something that Mac has reiterated to us is that if you want something you’ve never had you have to give up something you’ve never had. We just have to know what we have to sacrifice to be successful. That’s just working hard, eliminating all the distractions that are out there.

“I mean I think diet wise I think I made that change after last season. The nutrition staff we have right now, they do a great job with us. Outside of that I think you can always prepare more. More than that it’s one thing to kind of watch your own film but encouraging the younger guys, the guys around you to do the same thing and affecting those around you in a positive way is something Coach Mac talks a lot about as well. That’s something as a d-line it’s cool having the entire defensive line calling out the plays before they even run it and it’s only Tuesday. That kind of preparation is going to make us a lot better moving forward.”

There are some proven commodities up front on defense… Sherit, Cox, Joey Ivie, Caleb Brantley, and to a certain extent CeCe Jefferson as well. There are also guys that have had a taste of success and looking for more and then some that are going to play for the first time this fall.

Sherit anticipates a lot of players on the Florida defensive line playing at a high level.

"I think as far as the contribution we're getting from just the number of guys, yeah, I think so,” he said when asked if this is a deep unit this year. “I think our staff's done a great job of bringing guys along, and the amount of guys that are contributing now is more than I've ever seen. And having that, keeping guys fresh, is going to be huge. Coach Collins brought up a stat the other day; we went from 80-something in the country in sack to in the top 10. That's something we're trying to build on, and they did a great job of that by keeping everyone fresh and keeping young guys developing."

Brantley putting in work off the field…

Redshirt junior defensive tackle Caleb Brantley is postured to have a big year according to many. Things weren’t easy for Brantley when he first arrived, but Sherit has seen maturation in the massive lineman.

“Caleb has been Caleb for a long time but more so than ever his preparation, the way he goes about his business,” he said in what the difference in Brantley has been. “He’s watched more film than anybody. It means a lot to him. This is his number one priority and he’s affecting guys around him, like I was talking about earlier, in a positive way. Having a guy like that, who’s successful on the field and showing that type of leadership with the younger guys, that kind of role model side he has, it’s great. You can’t speak enough about it.”

Anzalone being a leader as well…

You won’t find a more adamant supporter of senior linebacker Alex Anzalone than Sherit. The oft injured Anzalone was the guy that Sherit said in the spring we need to watch for this year, and that was before he was able to get on the field and take contact from shoulder surgery.

Now, Anzalone has progressed this summer and the coaching staff is all about him as well. Sherit says Anzalone will draw a lot of attention this year.

“The guy is a great player,” Sherit said. “He makes it easy for us up front when he's making all the right calls. You can't speak enough about it. He's a great player, great leader, vocal guy and like I said, it’s hard for offensive linemen to double team us when you've got 34 screaming down your back. So he makes it easier on all of us, and I think he's going to surprise a lot of people this year."


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