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In NFL prep, former CU Buffs OL William Sherman showing versatility

Lineman learning to play center before draft

BOULDER, Colo. - March 22, 2021: Former Colorado offensive lineman William Sherman goes through workouts at the Buffs' annual pro timing day at The Champions Center. (University of Colorado Athletics).
BOULDER, Colo. – March 22, 2021: Former Colorado offensive lineman William Sherman goes through workouts at the Buffs’ annual pro timing day at The Champions Center. (University of Colorado Athletics).

During his career at Colorado, William Sherman became a regular starter and an All-Pac-12 player at tackle.

As he prepares for the NFL, however, the 6-foot-3 Sherman is preparing for a move inside.

“There aren’t too many 6-3 tackles, other than (David Bakhtiari of the Green Bay Packers) and Isaiah (Wynn) with the Patriots,” Sherman said Monday after CU’s annual pro day, where he worked out in front of 24 scouts representing 23 NFL teams.

Sherman, who decided to forgo his senior season with the Buffs and enter the NFL Draft, has spent much of this offseason working not only at guard, but at center, in an effort to make himself more attractive to scouts.

BOULDER, Colo. – March 22, 2021: Former Colorado offensive lineman William Sherman goes through workouts at the Buffs’ annual pro timing day at The Champions Center. (University of Colorado Athletics).

“I felt the next step would be showing my versatility, as far as playing the interior,” Sherman said. “I’ve actually taken some practice snaps at guard, so I’m comfortable playing guard. Really I just wanted to showcase today my ability to play center, so taking lots of snaps. I’ve been snapping for the past 10 weeks.”

In learning how to play center, Sherman has worked with one of the best in the business – Ryan Jensen, who helped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7.

An eight-year veteran who graduated from Fort Morgan High School and Colorado State University-Pueblo, Jensen has played a key role in Sherman’s draft preparation.

“At first it was like calculus, but as we’ve gone through more and more sessions, it’s become a lot easier,” Sherman said. “At the end of the day, it’s just football. He’s helped me out a lot. I thank him a lot for that.”

Sherman started nine games at left tackle in 2018, earning All-Pac-12 honorable mention. As a sophomore in 2019, he moved to right tackle after the Buffs brought in graduate transfer Arlington Hambright (now with the Chicago Bears) and started all 12 games.

This past season, he started all six games for the Buffs at left tackle and earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors.

Now, he’s trying to show the NFL that he can play anywhere on the line.

“(Working on) my center work and snapping the ball, getting consistent snaps in my run game, consistent snaps in my pass game, as well,” he said. “Being able to show them I can move out of my stance when snapping the ball, just because I have no film of that. I have only tackle film. I still show my versatility playing right and left on the film but just showing them that I can still be athletic at the center position is really what I wanted to do the most throughout this process.”

Jensen has helped Sherman learn all aspects of center, including identifying defenses and the communication required of the position.

“He has a size that he can be flexible in playing a number of positions in the offensive front,” CU head coach Karl Dorrell said. “William did a very good job (at pro day). He showcased his ability that he can play in a number of areas.”

During his time at CU, Sherman, from Allen, Tex., was a team leader and said it was the highlight of his career to help the Buffs (4-2) reach a bowl game this past season.

“I definitely think we could have been to a bowl game every year I was here, but blessed I got to experience one bowl game,” he said. “That’s definitely going to stick out the most.”

Moving forward, Sherman is simply looking for an opportunity to show what he can do at the next level. He’s hoping to join Hambright, Bakhtiari and the New York Giants’ Nate Solder as recent Buffs’ tackles selected in the NFL Draft.

“I’m definitely someone who loves the game of football, someone who loves to win and just an extremely consistent, hard worker,” he said. “I pride myself on consistency, discipline and hard work. That’s what got me here to Colorado in the first place. It’s what has helped me be successful during my time here.”

BOULDER, Colo. – March 22, 2021: Former Colorado offensive lineman William Sherman goes through workouts at the Buffs’ annual pro timing day at The Champions Center. (University of Colorado Athletics).