Auburn landed a big-time commitment from one of its top safety targets in the 2018 recruiting class. Jamien Sherwood chose Auburn over Florida, Michigan and Oregon.
There’s a lot for Tigers’ fans to learn about the newest member of the recruiting class.
Here are 5 things SEC Country has learned about Sherwood that will help Auburn fans get to know the newest commit.
1. Sherwood’s hometown is mostly like Auburn, he says.
Who knew Jensen Beach, Fla., and Auburn, Ala., were similar?
He said that’s what surprised him most about his first visit to the Plains. He didn’t know exactly what to expect from Auburn during his first visit, but he found a tight-knit community and a lot of friendly, smiling faces.
Sherwood’s immediate thought: wait, this feels like home.
“The people. It’s the people in town. Not just the fans, but people on campus, how good they are to random strangers. Everybody waves. Auburn isn’t so different from where I live. The only thing about Auburn that’s a little different is I live by the beach. Other than that, same type of climate, same environment,” Sherwood said. “It’s nothing really different, except no water.”
2. His favorite player is former FSU DB Jalen Ramsey.
Sherwood watches the former Florida State cornerback closely.
He won’t play cornerback most likely, but it’s the style of play Sherwood wants to simulate on the football field. Sherwood likes to get physical, and he has the speed and quickness to cover well in space, too.
“I just like the way he plays. Jalen Ramsey, I just love the way he plays football. That’s who I want to be,” Sherwood said. “That’s who I want to play like. What he did when he was in college, I want to simulate something like that.”
For some context, Ramsey was an All-American and a BCS national champion. If Sherwood can sniff Ramsey’s level of success, then Auburn will be landing someone much better than his 3-star rating.
3. Sherwood’s pregame routine explains his personality.
Sherwood is a tough personality to read sometimes. He even admits that himself. The 3-star safety often moves quietly. He doesn’t say much unless he has to.
But he’s got a fun side, too.
Let’s let Sherwood self-describe his personality.
“Most people say every time you see me, my facial expression looks kinda mad,” Sherwood said. “I’m a nice kid, though. Once I get to know you, I like to play around a lot. I know when to play and when not to play. I like to have fun a lot.”
He’s serious, but he likes to have fun.
So his pregame routine makes a ton of sense. Sherwood likes to throw on a rap music of choice. It’s usually a song that would make most people “want to dance,” Sherwood said. But he’s not much of a dancer. He takes a much calmer approach to his pregame routine, which fits right in line with his own personality description.
“I sit in the corner sometimes. I lay down with the lights off, listening to some kind of rap music. It’s always something that makes you want to dance, but I’m the type to just sit there silently and listen to it,” Sherwood said.
4. He’s set the expectation bar high for himself.
When Sherwood was talking about Jalen Ramsey, he gave himself some lofty career expectations.
Sherwood hopes to mimic Ramsey’s career path. A successful college career and a top NFL draft pick. But Sherwood took his self-expectations a step further, thanks to Auburn defensive back coach Greg Brown’s track record of coaching postseason award winners.
“I hope to be able to achieve a Jim Thorpe award or, if you’re lucky enough, a run at the Heisman,” Sherwood said.
The Heisman part seems tough to fathom for a defensive back, obviously, but the Thorpe Award would be a great place to start.
5. Sherwood will play safety, but he’s super versatile.
Maybe Sherwood’s Heisman talk stems from his belief that he’s not just a safety. After all, he’s not just a safety.
For his high school team, Sherwood plays all spots on the defense — safety, corner and linebacker — but that’s not all he does. He’s a big player in the return game. Sherwood returned 4 punts for touchdowns in the 2016 football season.
Defensively, he added 69 tackles and two interceptions. But Sherwood will try his hand on the offensive side this season, as well, after scoring a few touchdowns in the passing game and running game a year ago.
In June, Andrew Ivins of 247Sports put together his state-of-Florida superlatives from the spring evaluation period.
Sherwood’s superlative: Most versatile. Ivins wrote that Sherwood looks like he could play five different position, and that Michigan’s defensive coordinator said Sherwood reminds him of a bigger Jabrill Peppers.
Has Auburn talked about playing more than safety?
“No, but I play special teams, as well. I might get some reps at kick returner and punt returner. They might give me some reps at wide receiver,” Sherwood said. “Hopefully. Maybe.”