Dezmond agrees with Derek.
"We've had a connection ever since we were little," noted Dezmond Sherrod, who gives up about 3 1/2 inches and 55 pounds to his younger sibling. "We watched the same shows and played the same video games. Even though we are four years apart, we are pretty much best friends."
But Dezmond has been more than just a best friend to Derek. He's been, as Derek said, someone he can look up to and learn from.
"He was successful in all the sports," explained Derek. "And that has shown for him these past four years because he has become a great tight end at Mississippi State. I have really tried to imitate him as much as I could so that I could be successful, too.
"He has often told me to always work hard because there is always somebody out there that is working harder than you. That is something that I have always tried to do."
But Derek, who had about 15 scholarship offers as a senior in high school, has achieved his success not only because he took his brother's advice to work hard, but also because he is extremely gifted, size-wise and athletic-wise.
"Ever since Derek was a baby he was bigger than the average person," said Dezmond, who turned down offers from West Virginia, Marshall, Ole Miss and Alabama before signing with Mississippi State. "It's been that way throughout his life. Then, when he started playing middle school football he was doing pretty good considering how young he was. He pretty much dominated everyone he played against. Because we always played different sports, Derek grew up being athletic. And when you add in how big and tall he was, that gave him a huge advantage on the football field."
When he puts humbleness aside, Derek is willing to comment on his attributes on the football field.
"Basically, I am a 6-6, 300-pound monster on the field," said Derek with a slight chuckle. "I fire off the ball hard and I always try to stay as low as I can. And I'm good at putting my hands on the inside. Whoever has their hands on the inside will almost automatically win the battle."
But he understands he's still a work in progress.
"Being meaner on the football field is probably something that I am going to have to work on because my mom and dad have brought me up to be appreciative of everything and to be very courteous," said Derek. "But when it comes to college football, there are going to be times when you have to be mean. (MSU offensive line) Coach (J.B.) Grimes told me that college football is a totally different world and to survive you are going to have to be mean every single play. I know that I can be mean, but I know that I will have to work on it a little bit."
And, according to Dezmond, if Derek gets that mean streak he can be as good as he wants to be.
"I think if he had that (former MSU offensive lineman and current Tennessee lineman) David Stewart mentality on the field he would be unstoppable," said Dezmond. "To get that, he'll probably have to get experience and get defeated a few times."
Derek showed the beginning of a mean streak last summer at a couple of college football camps.
"When Derek went down to the Florida football came, they did a lot of hitting because they use helmets and shoulder pads. I wasn't there, but from what my dad and Derek told me, he dominated everyone that he went up against," noted Dezmond. "It was the same way when he came to the Mississippi State camp, too."
Both brothers have not only been successful on the football field, but in the classroom as well.
"Our parents really stressed doing the right things, including making good grades," said Dezmond, who is in the MBA program after graduating with a 3.45 grade point average in Risk Management, Insurance and Financial Planning. "I guess part of us wanted to make good grades so that our parents would be proud of us, but we want to succeed in everything that we do."
Derek agrees with Dezmond about the importance their parents have played in their lives.
"Our parents have been the perfect parents," said Derek. " Basically, we have them to thank for us being this successful. Our parents have brought us up to be thankful for what we have and to always work hard. We couldn't have gotten this far without them. They have always tried to teach us to do the right thing. And I think they have done a great job, so far."
And the Mississippi State fans and coaches couldn't agree more.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.