Snapshot: Dezmond Sherrod

As we do every year at this time, presents its Snapshot series of features on the Steelers' rookies. Today we're featuring undrafted free agent TE Dezmond Sherrod.

Dezmond Sherrod caught just eight passes for 50 yards in 47 games – 18 of which were starts – at Mississippi State.

In his senior season, he played in all 13 games, making eight starts, catching just one pass, a 10-yard reception against Alabama.

But Sherrod's talents at tight end go beyond what he does as a receiver.

Even though he's just 6-2 and 250 pounds, Sherrod was considered one of the best blocking tight ends in college football last season, something that is a lost art at the position.

"I started realizing during my senior season that I had a chance to play in the NFL because of my blocking," said Sherrod, who sat aside his work on his master's degree in business administration to sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a rookie free agent following the draft.

"I didn't get a chance to catch many passes, but that wasn't my job. They wanted me to block, so I made myself the best blocker I could be."

Sherrod's strong work ethic comes from his parents. His father, Louis, has built a career in the military and instilled a sense of responsibility in his son from an early age.

"My parents always stressed discipline from an early age," Sherrod said. "Academics were always as important as athletics."

In addition to being a standout basketball and football player in high school, Sherrod was also a straight-A student. Highly rated as a tight end coming out of Caledonia High School in Mississippi, he originally committed to Alabama before changing his mind and staying in-state.

Now, he's trying to make a name for himself with the Steelers.

"They haven't told me that I have to put on weight, but I know that if I want to stick in this league, I've got to get stronger," said Sherrod.

The opportunity for Sherrod to earn a spot with the Steelers is there. The team released longtime backup Jerame Tuman in the offseason, perhaps leaving an open spot on the roster behind starter Heath Miller and backup Matt Spaeth.

Jonathan Dekker is back after spending last season on the team's practice squad, while Cody Boyd will make his second shot at making the team in training camp. Sherrod is the only new tight end the team added to the mix.

"It's an opportunity like anything else," said Sherrod. "It's going to be what I make out of it. My parents always taught me to do my best at whatever I do. Blocking is my bread and butter and it's all about attitude. I know I'm not the biggest guy out here, but blocking is about desire. And I've got the desire to do it and I think this is a team that appreciates that kind of talent."

Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter.

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