|04-24-2008, 03:09 PM||#1|
Join Date: Mar 2004
Nice article on my boy Gosder Cherilus
It's all about football now.
Gosder Cherilus kept trying to convince himself of that when his coaches at Somerville High took him to football camps at Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, and Indiana before his senior year and exposed him to some of the premier college-bound players in the nation. If he was going to succeed in those camps, Cherilus knew he was going to have to rely on his size, athleticism, and what little football instinct he had.
A diamond in the rough, Cherilus hadn't played organized football until he was a high school sophomore. But his coaches saw Cherilus possessed such raw talent and potential they were convinced he would play not only on Saturdays, but one day on Sundays.
"My coaches used to joke around with me and they'd say things like, 'If you do what you're supposed to do, you're going to be signing an NFL contract very soon,' and I'd be like, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah,' " Cherilus said. "But maybe they saw something in me that I didn't know back then."
It wasn't long after he returned from those camps that scholarship offers started pouring in, the first from Michigan State, which left Cherilus asking himself, "Wow, is this really happening?" Cherilus also camped at Boston College, which eventually landed the local standout.
A three-year starter who set a school record with 51 consecutive starts, Cherilus now stands ready to carry on the school's proud "O-Line U" tradition. The 6-foot-6 1/2-inch, 314-pound Cherilus is projected by some to be a first-round selection when the NFL holds its draft Saturday in New York.
Cherilus is in line to become the 11th NFL offensive lineman BC has produced in the last 10 years, and possibly the fifth taken in first round since 1989, when Joe Wolf was selected 17th by the Phoenix Cardinals.
BC's other first-round offensive linemen include: Marc Colombo (2002, 29th, Chicago), Damien Woody (1999, 17th, New England), and Pete Kendall (1996, 21st, Seattle).
Cherilus credited his evolution to the tutelage and encouragement he received not only from his Somerville coaches, but also former BC coach Tom O'Brien, who recruited him, and current BC coach Jeff Jagodzinski, who challenged him by converting him from right to left tackle. As such, Cherilus was responsible for protecting the blind side of quarterback Matt Ryan and allowed just 5 1/2 sacks in 659 pass attempts.
"There's no question about it, it helped him," Jagodzinski said of the switch. "He's so athletic, it helps his versatility."
Cherilus, though, would likely welcome a return to right tackle, which is where most NFL teams have him pegged. And there have been several teams who have taken a strong interest in him. Cherilus last week visited the Lions, Steelers, Falcons, and Chargers. "From San Diego, I came home for one night, then flew to New York the next day [for a visit with the Giants]," Cherilus said. "From New York, I went to Denver."
Cherilus said it was hard to figure out what teams thought of him.
"One of the big things teams do these days is that they don't like people knowing what they're going to do," he said. "When you go there, they'll give you a speech where they'll say, 'I really like you and if you're there on the board, I'll really push for you, but I'm not the only one making the decision; it's a team decision.' But I feel like I've put myself in the position [to be drafted]."
Cherilus credited not only the instruction he got at BC, but the level of competition he faced in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
"We beat Clemson three years in a row," Cherilus said proudly. "And they had some of the best athletes I've ever played against, guys like Gaines Adams. You think about Miami, Florida State, all these schools who every year have the top 10 recruiting class, but we've beaten them."
To illustrate his point, Cherilus pointed to the NFL-caliber defensive talent ACC schools have produced the last couple of seasons. "The 12 defensive ends drafted in the first or second round - I've faced them all, except for one," Cherilus said. "I've faced Mario Williams [of N.C. State], Gaines Adams [of Clemson], [BC's Mathias] Kiwanuka, [Florida State's] Kameron Wimbley, Manny Lawson [N.C. State], and the guys this year - [Miami's] Calais Campbell, [Clemson's] Phillip Merling, and [Virginia's] Chris Long. You name it, I've seen it.
"That's the difference with us being in the ACC, and guys in the Big Ten," Cherilus added. "These linemen who come from the Big Ten, they're great players - and I'm not taking anything away from what they've done because they've had some great careers and done great things - but nobody plays the type of defensive ends we go against in the ACC. Nobody in the Big Ten has gone against that type of speed and power that's in the ACC."
When Cherilus attended the Senior Bowl, he was transported back to his college camping days.
"I never had a chance to play against guys from the Pac-10 or the Big 12, but when you go to the Senior Bowl, they're all there," said Cherilus, who mixed it up with Purdue's Cliff Avril and Southern Cal's Lawrence Jackson, and got the better of both. "It's straight-up football. You don't have a chance to watch any film on them, nothing. Some guys I had heard about, like some of the USC guys. But some other guys I had never heard about, so I just lined up and did what I've been doing the past four years and just beat 'em.
"I left most days feeling really comfortable about what I did, but I was still new to some of the things they threw at us. But I felt real good about what I did. I left the field with a smile on my face, knowing I went against the best in the nation and I was successful."
"I believe I'm as good or better than anybody else who's going to get drafted in this draft," he said. "I feel I belong at the top with all the best. At the end of the day, whoever gives me a shot, I promise them they'll get a heck of a football player, someone who can help them out right away.
"I played for two great head coaches who put me in a position to be able to play against any look a defense can throw at you. I feel like I'm ready, I'm in good position, I'm stronger than ever, and whoever gives me a shot will be happy with what I bring to the table."
|04-24-2008, 03:41 PM||#3|
Is this thing on???
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tulsa, OK
|04-24-2008, 03:56 PM||#4|
highly touted recruit
Join Date: Mar 2006
I would love to have him...strong badass OT would give a big lift to the offense IMO
|04-25-2008, 02:12 AM||#5|
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Abu Dhabi
If we could drop back to picks number 20-25, then absolutely!
If he somehow falls to our 2nd round selection -- how sweet would that be?
|04-25-2008, 04:17 AM||#6|
helmet to helmet hitter
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Arlington, TX
He's not a left OT and struggled there. If we want a RT let's get the Pitt kid...he's a monster over there. Great point about the SEC defensive ends, which is another reason to like Chris Williams.
|04-25-2008, 09:04 AM||#7|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: In the Tetons!
I think the Broncos would do well to pick this kid up if they trade back in the first. BC does have a good history of producing NFL caliber olineman and the kids got a point about matching up against some sick talent in the ACC.
If Dallas is willing to trade down, I'd be happy with Gosder at #22. Then, with the #28 possibly Mayo, if he's there.
That would be a solid first round.
But, that's a pipe dream...