Making The Switch: Richard Sherman Turning Heads As A Cornerback

Jason Figueiredo@sportschatterCorrespondent IAugust 14, 2009

PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 30:  Cornerback Trey Brown #23 of the UCLA Bruins goes over Stanford Cardinal wide receiver Richard Sherman #9 and intercepts the ball in the end zone during the game on September 30, 2006 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.   (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Entering his senior season, Richard Sherman made a decision that very few people saw coming.

In fact, even his coach had no idea.

Over the offseason, Sherman text messaged Jim Harbaugh with the request to move from wide receiver to cornerback. An interesting request considering the success Sherman had as a wideout his first two seasons with the Stanford Cardinals.

In his freshman year, Richard blossomed quickly as a receiver, collecting 581 yards and three touchdowns. He complemented those numbers in his second year, catching the ball 39 times, gaining 651 yards and pulling in four more touchdowns. The potential for Sherman to become a huge success at wide receiver seemed to be almost a given.

An injury shorten junior year seemed to bring things to a quick halt. Sherman’s absence provided an opportunity for other receivers to emerge and it gave him some time to contemplate what his role was going to be in his final season with Stanford.

Harbaugh was not completely sold on the idea of switching Sherman to cornerback but allowed him to take on the task during spring drills.

The experiment has in fact panned out quite nicely.

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Despite not recording a collegiate snap as a defender, Sherman is actually no slouch at the cornerback position.   

During his junior and senior years at Dominguez High School in Compton, Sherman played both ways for the Dons, putting up some decent numbers.

Sherman posted 45 tackles, eight pass break ups, and one interception as a DB his senior year at Dominguez. As a junior he added four more picks to his defensive resume and appears to be bringing the skills and techniques he acquired as a prep-star to the Farm in 2009.

Sherman has made such a splash playing on the other side of the ball that he has quickly climbed the depth chart ranks and should start at cornerback once the season begins. 

Time will only tell how successful Sherman will be as a cornerback but if he can keep the intensity that he is currently displaying, this could be a very memorable season for the two-way standout.