Richard Sherman Proves His Toughness

Dominguez (Compton, CA) High School's Richard Sherman may be one of the top overall athletes in the nation. And that's drawing the attention of some big-time schools. But he's more than just a great athlete. He's also just as tough-minded as he is talented. Last year's California State Championship Track Meet confirmed that.

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Richard, who is not only one of the top wide receivers in the nation, but also one of the elite triple jumpers for the upcoming track season, broke his wrist just a few weeks before the California State Championship Track Meet last spring. But he didn't let that deter him from doing what needed to be done.

"I had broken my wrist at the CIF Finals, which was just three weeks before State," said Richard. "I broke it during the hurdles, then I had to triple jump with it broken." So, how did he do while jumping with a broken wrist? "I won the triple jump in our division by jumping 47'10".

But that's just the start of his heroics.

"I went to the doctor the next day," said Richard. "The bone was poking against the skin, but he said it wasn't broken. They kept taping it up. And I held it to my chest and then ran and jumped. I jumped a 49' 5.75" (at the Masters) with the broken wrist."

With the pain continuing to bother him, he knew he had to do something, so he visited another doctor.

"I went to a sports doctor and he told me that it was broken," said the 6-3, 180-pounder," and that it had started healing wrong. He said that they would have to go into surgery and re-break it and that I probably couldn't go to the state meet."

Richard wasn't having any of that.

"I told him that I couldn't let my teammates down," he said. "I told them that they would have to put pins in it, so that I could go to the state meet."

The doctor put pins in and then put a cast on it. That was all Richard needed to participate in the meet.

"At the state meet, I jumped 47'7" the first day and 46'11" the next day," said Richard.

If this was a fairy tale, Richard would have won the meet, but this is real life. Richard wound up finishing 5th in a meet that he could have possibly won if he had been healthy.

While he didn't win the state championship in track last year, he has, according to his dad, Kevin Sherman, drawn the attention of several schools due to his ability in track and football.

"There are really two schools that are going to give him two opportunities (track and football)," said Kevin, "and that is Stanford and Mississippi State."

But they aren't the only ones seriously recruiting him.

"Stanford, Mississippi State, Fresno State, UNLV and UCLA are consistently calling me," said Richard. "I have offers from UNLV, Stanford, Colorado, Mississippi State and UCLA."

However, according to his dad, being able to participate in track while in college, is very, very important.

"I really feel that wherever he goes, he has to have the opportunity to participate in track," said Kevin. "His entire life has been designed with football and track in mind. The track and football workouts work different parts of the body. And I think he needs both to stay healthy."

And Richard agrees with his dad.

"It is a big factor, because I really want to run track," he said. "I really want to go to a place with a good track program and a good football program."

With one of the top track programs in the nation, that is exactly why Mississippi State's Associate Head Coach Steve Dudley took an in-home visit with Richard and his family earlier this week. And Richard came away very impressed.

"I liked Steve Dudley a lot," said Richard. "He was a nice guy who was very well-mannered and he seemed like a great coach. He treats his players the same, but he works them hard. He makes sure they know their purpose there. He was a very detailed coach who knew what he was talking about. And Mississippi State does have a great track program."

Richard's also impressed with Guy Holliday, the MSU assistant football coach that is recruiting him.

"Coach Holliday is definitely a good guy," said Richard. "He would be my (postion) coach in college because they are recruiting me as a wide receiver, although they said they would play me on defense if they need me there.

"Coach Holliday came to our school last Thursday. He was at my game Friday and I had a 93-yard touchdown."

Where does Mississippi State fit in Richard's recruiting picture?

"(My top schools) would probably be Stanford, Mississippi State, UCLA and UNLV," said Richard. "Stanford and MSU are my top two. Stanford probably has a little edge."

According to his dad, part of the reason those schools made his son's list is due to loyalty.

"Stanford, Colorado and Mississippi State were the first three schools that came in," said Kevin, who was an All-American cornerback at Crenshaw (CA.) High School. "Washington and UCLA came in behind them. We try to be faithful to the people who came in early. We are taking all the schools that have been loyal from the beginning of this up until right now. We'll look at the late schools, but the majority of them will be the last ones that we will look at."

Kevin specifically mentioned the schools that they will consider.

"We are seriously looking at Stanford," he said. "We are going to take a serious look at Washington. We are going to take a serious look at Mississippi State. We are going to take a look at UNLV. And we are going to take a look at UCLA, Oregon and Colorado. And we had another late-comer, Fresno State."

Richard has several schools in mind that he's thinking about visiting with two of those sure to receive a visit.

"I am visiting Mississippi State and Stanford," said Richard. "I was supposed to visit Colorado, but I haven't talked to them lately. Fresno State and Oregon want me to visit. Washington wants a visit."

Richard's dad and mom will also visit the schools, along with Richard.

"What we are going to do is my wife and I will alternate going to visits," said Kevin. "My wife will go to one and I'll go to the next one. We both may go to Stanford because we can drive (there). My wife will go to Mississippi State."

Considering the distance from California to Mississippi, will that factor into their ultimate college choice?

"The distance is not a problem because I have family all over the southern states," said Kevin. "I have some in Arkansas, Louisiana and Georgia."

We'll check back with Richard and his dad in the next few weeks to find out the latest recruiting news.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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