Columbus (Miss.) Caledonia offensive tackle Derek Sherrod is honored by his selection to the inaugural Offense-Defense All-American Bowl.
"I am so excited," he said. "It's a prestigious honor to have all of my actions on the field being rewarded. I am just really excited about being able to play with the best players in the county and being able to show my talents to the rest of the country."
The Magnolia State's top offensive lineman will play for the East squad in the game, which kicks off at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4 at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The game will be televised live by ESPNU.
Five facts about Derek Sherrod
• Personal hero is his grandmother Ruth Williams
• Admires former president Abraham Lincoln.
• All-time favorite movie is "Crash"
• One of his hobbies is cooking.
• Picked Mississippi State over Florida, Michigan, Miami (Fla.), Notre Dame and others.
Rivals.com is the official selection partner of the game.
Sherrod is confident in his abilities to perform at a high level on the offensive line.
"I know that when you line me up on the line of scrimmage that I will make a hole and I will block my defender," Sherrod said. "I will show leadership and I will take control when I need to."
Sherrod is verbally committed to Mississippi State, where older brother and mentor Dezmond is a tight end.
"My brother is like my best friend," Derek Sherrod said. "When I was growing up and he played football and got all the stats and achievements, he made me realize that everything is possible. I've actually grown up and done that. He's a great role model and I appreciate all that he's done."
In addition to the family ties to Mississippi State, the proximity to his home and familiarity helped him pick the Southeastern Conference program over scholarship offers from Michigan, Florida, Notre Dame, Miami (Fla.) and others.
"I just love the whole school," he said. "It's only 30 minutes from here. I've been over to Starkville multiple times. I love the coaching staff. Coach Sylvester Croom, he's a really good person.
"They never give up and they have high goals and aspirations."
Sherrod was a preseason "Dandy Dozen" selection by the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger, which annually names the top 12 rising senior high school football players in the state of Mississippi. He also was named to the preseason Elite 11 team by the Columbus Commercial Dispatch.
Sherrod hopes to major in business in college.
"I've always been good with math and wanted to go into a field where I could work hard in that field," he said. "I really think I could become something great in the business world."