There are Marcus Sherels (24) days left until the Golden Gophers' season begins. At Minnesota from 2006 to 2009, Sherels became one of the team's top defensive players as an upperclassman.
Sherels returns a punt for a touchdown for the Vikings.
He originally walked on to the team and played wide receiver before shifting to cornerback. An injury forced Sherels to miss three games as a senior in 2009, but he recorded 51 tackles, seven pass breakups and two interceptions. He added a school-record 88-yard fumble return for a touchdown against Wisconsin that season.
Sherels played on special teams throughout his four years. As a junior, Sherels ranked second in the Big Ten with a punt return average of 11.9 yards on 15 returns. He was second on the team with 11 pass breakups, ranking seventh all-time.
As he did in his college career, Sherels had to prove himself to make it in the NFL. He signed with the Vikings as a free agent in 2010. Sherels played in 16 games for his home state team during each of the past two seasons.
Just like he did for the Gophers, Sherels plays defensive back. And just like he did for the Gophers, he has provided some special teams highlights. In 2012 against the Lions, Sherels returned a punt 77 yards for a touchdown. With Vikings training camp under way, he will look to keep that role in the 2013 season.