Jamien Sherwood had to wait his turn before he could become a full-time starter at Auburn, but he clearly made the most out of his opportunity when it presented itself.
This past season, Sherwood had 65 total tackles, two fumble recoveries and a sack. He showcased his physicality on a weekly basis, proving to be a stout run defender for the Tigers.
Sherwood could’ve returned to Auburn for another season, but instead he declared for the NFL Draft.
“To all my brothers at Auburn, thank you for the laughs and memories we shared. Nothing will ever compare and I hope they will continue forever,” Sherwood said in his announcement. “You made this decision harder for me. I will forever love Auburn and it will always hold a special place in my heart.”
With the NFL Draft still a few months away, The Spun sat down with Sherwood to discuss his decision to go pro, which safety he models his game after, how he feels about Auburn firing Gus Malzahn, and much more.
The Spun: Why was now the right time for you to go pro?
Jamien Sherwood: I felt like this year I had a lot of growth and experience with only being a one-year starter. Playing behind the two safeties I did in my freshman and sophomore year, they taught me a lot. I was already physical, so they just had to teach me the game more – my communication level has increase as well. I got to play 12 games in my one year as the starter, so I felt like I was ready to go play against the best.
The Spun: This was your first season as a full-time starter for Auburn. What do you think you showed NFL scouts?
JS: My physicality. I like to come down in the box and stop the run. I also showed my versatility. I can play dimeback very well. My leadership skills were also shown, and I feel like that’s what appeals most to scouts.
The Spun: I’ve seen you make some huge plays on wide receiver screens and plays of that sort. Who’s one wideout in the NFL you can’t wait to make a play against?
JS: Probably Davante Adams or DK Metcalf.
Auburn SAF Jamien Sherwood (@JamienSherwood) is the perfect modern day SS. He is one of the best run defenders in the nation and is a sure tackler. He has the frame to be a day one starter at the next level. Really talented player, who Auburn moves all over the field. #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/5P9joqx9ZZ
— Jack Borowsky (@Jack_Borowsky) December 7, 2020
The Spun: You faced a plethora of talented players in the SEC. Which guy gave Auburn the most trouble?
JS: I would give it to DeVonta Smith obviously because he won the Heisman. He was just very explosive when we played him and he made a lot of great plays, so I think he was the best.
The Spun: Auburn fired Gus Malzahn this past season. What’d you make of the move?
JS: That was our coach. That’s the coach that I came in and that they had, so we built a relationship together. When the news came out, I was sad to see him go – most of the other kids were, too.
The Spun: What makes the Iron Bowl different from other rivalries?
JS: I think because you don’t have pro teams in Alabama – you have Auburn in the East and Alabama in the West – so that [Iron Bowl] is their Super Bowl. That’s what the fans look to every year. You can feel it walking into Bryant-Denny Stadium or when you come into Auburn.
The Spun: What the ceiling for a quarterback like Bo Nix?
JS: He has all the skills in the world. I think he’s a great quarterback. His freshman and sophomore years I got to play with him in practice. He makes great plays in practice and great plays in the game. I feel like he can be one of the best in the SEC by next season.
— Guru1k (@CoachScoe) February 14, 2020
The Spun: Is there a safety you model your game after?
JS: I like to look at tape on Jamal Adams. He can play down in the box, blitz all over the field, makes great communication skills and is a leader on the field. I can model my game after him. I feel like I can also model mine after Jalen Ramsey because he had confidence on the field and makes his presences known when he’s out there playing. He’s going to let you know he’s going to win every rep.
The Spun: Who’s the one NFL quarterback you want to pick off?
JS: I’d have to say Tom Brady.
The Spun: What do you want to show at your Pro Day?
JS: I want to show them that I can run fast, that I have vertical speed and can change direction. I also want to show them I can move in space, like my fluidity in my hips. I just want scouts to actually see me. I don’t think a lot of scouts have gotten to see me the past couple of years, especially with COVID-19 this past season. So they’ll get to see how big I am and how I can move at the safety position.
Auburn safety @gamechanger021 was one of MY GUYS in last year's draft.
His former teammate Jamien Sherwood is one this year. Single-season starter but a Round 3 grade from me.
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) January 21, 2021
The NFL Combine this year will be a tad different due to COVID-19, which means it’s imperative that Sherwood shows out at his pro day.
Sherwood’s stock has been on the rise in recent months, so a strong showing in front of scouts should give all 32 teams something to think about before the draft in April.
You can read more of our interviews with athletes or media stars here.