Sherry remains committed to Colorado

 

Casa Grande quarterback Nick Sherry says he still plans to attend Colorado despite the firing of coach Dan Hawkins. Photo by Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat

By PHIL BARBER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

PETALUMA — Nick Sherry has evolved into a classic pocket passer for Casa Grande, but he’s quickly becoming an option quarterback. That is, he’s keeping his options open as he looks ahead to college.

Sherry committed to the University of Colorado, but is leaving the door cracked while he prepares for the North Coast Section playoffs and watches the Buffaloes’ machinations from afar. They officially fired the coach who recruited him, Dan Hawkins, on Nov.9, and Sherry wants to see what happens next.

“Right now, with Coach Hawkins leaving Colorado and everything, everything’s kind of tossed in the air,” he said after last Friday’s 27-6 victory over Healdsburg. “But I’m still committed.”

Sherry said Colorado will honor his scholarship.

“They’ll plan on me going there, so I’m not gonna change that unless something drastic happens — different coach comes in that may want to run a different-style offense,” he explained.

Hawkins was not afraid to throw the ball deep. So far, names linked to the job search include long-time Oregon coach Mike Bellotti, Minnesota Vikings running backs coach Eric Bienemy (who played for the Buffaloes) and Bill McCartney, who retired in 1994 with more wins than any other coach in Colorado history.

Sherry has classic QB size (6-5, 220 pounds) and the requisite passing numbers in 2010. He has completed 64.2 percent of his throws for 2,043 yards and 16 touchdowns, with just four interceptions. He isn’t a true running threat, but moves well in the pocket, is hard to bring down and has scored six rushing touchdowns, mostly in short yardage.

The Healdsburg game was a nice showcase for Sherry’s skills. Determined to take away the deep game, the Greyhounds spent most of the game in a Cover 4 scheme — even when Casa Grande built a lead. They challenged Sherry to sustain drives with shorter throws like slants, flares and bubble screens, and he responded.

“A lot of defenses have given us the short routes, but I was expecting a change in the second half,” Sherry said. “I was expecting them to come up and play press (coverage). But they didn’t. We were gonna double-move on the outside, but they kept getting deep, so we had to keep throwing short all game.”

Sherry wound up completing 20 of 27 passes for 217 yards, with a pair of touchdowns.

“He’ll take what they give him,” Gauchos coach Trent Herzog said. “He’s smart and he makes good decisions. He audibled (that night). He’s got 100-percent (latitude).”

Some quarterbacks like to be told they will play immediately in college. Sherry has no such demands — whether he winds up going to Colorado or escaping his commitment and heading to another school.

“As a quarterback, I want to redshirt, just because quarterback’s a hard position, especially when you’re playing in front of 100,000 people,” he said. “That’s a hard atmosphere to come in and play. So I want to redshirt. But if redshirt’s not a possibility, then I’m glad to go out there and play as a freshman.”

Colorado is slated to join the newly configured Pac-12 Conference in 2011, though with North and South divisions, that doesn’t mean Sherry would make annual trips to play at Cal and Stanford.

You can reach Staff Writer Phil Barber at 521-5263 or phil.barber@pressdemocrat.com.