In this episode, we profile two of the breakout stars of last year's Gopher team, David Cobb and Damien Wilson.
Football in the Spring
Mike Sherels is in his third year as an assistant coach at his alma mater Minnesota. Sherels coaches the linebackers after being named to the position in March 2014.
In 2015, Sherels' linebackers finished second (Cody Poock, 99), third (De'Vondre Campbell, 92) and fourth (Jack Lynn, 76) on the team in tackles. Lynn led Minnesota with 11.0 tackles for loss and Campbell's 4.0 sacks paced the team as well. Campbell, who was the lone senior among the three, was selected in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.
Sherels coached All-Big Ten First Team honoree Damien Wilson in 2014. Wilson led Minnesota with 119 tackles, which ranked third in the Big Ten. He made 10.5 tackles-for-loss, which included 4.0 sacks. He also recorded one interception, three pass breakups, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. Two more members of Sherels' linebacking corps were in the Gophers' top six tacklers, as Campbell made 75 stops (third) and Lynn made 57 (sixth).
Wilson flourished under the guidance of Sherels and was selected in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Campbell (2016) and Wilson (2015) are the first Gopher linebackers to be taken in consecutive NFL drafts since Jim Fahnhorst (1982) and Jeff Schuh (1981).
Sherels worked with the Minnesota linebackers as a defensive graduate assistant in 2013 and was also an assistant coordinator of recruiting operations in 2014. Sherels joined the staff in early 2011 as a special assistant to the head coach and has also worked closely with Minnesota's alumni.
The Rochester, Minn., native graduated from Minnesota in 2007 with a degree in business and marketing education and received his master's degree in May 2014. He played for the Gophers from 2003-07 and served as a captain during his junior and senior year. He is the only Minnesota walk-on ever to be named a two-time captain. Sherels started 30 games and recorded 219 tackles during his four-year career. His 104 tackles in 2006 led the Gophers.
Sherels' career at Minnesota was also decorated with off-field accolades. As a senior, he was honored with the Neil Fredenburg Award for Courage and Love of the Game. As a junior, he was presented with the Carl Eller Award as the team's most outstanding defensive player and the Paul Giel Award for Unselfishness and Most Concern about the University of Minnesota.
Sherels and his wife, Emily, have a daughter, Valerie, and a son, Quinton. Valerie was born in Texas, while the Gophers were in Houston for the 2012 Meineke Car Care Bowl.
2014-present: Minnesota - Linebackers
2013: Minnesota - Graduate Assistant
University of Minnesota (Linebacker, 2003-07)
M.S., University of Minnesota, 2014
B.S., University of Minnesota, 2007
John Marshall High School, 2003
October 29, 1984
Johnson Is Minnesota's Breakout Star
Tyler Johnson is putting up numbers that could rival some of the best sophomore receivers in Minnesota history.
Ski-U-Mah Weekly: Episode 6
P.J. Fleck, Jenny Hansen and Abby DeMuse are this week's guests on Ski-U-Mah Weekly which streams on Facebook every Monday.
Game 7: Illinois at Minnesota
Minnesota hosts Illinois at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium. The game can be watched on the Big Ten Network and can be heard on KFAN.