|No. 86, 88|
|Date of birth:||June 21, 1963|
|Place of birth:||Oakland, California|
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||185 lb (84 kg)|
|High school:||Chico High School|
|NFL draft:||1986 / Round: 1 / Pick: 18|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Stats at NFL.com|
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
Michael Watson Sherrard (born June 21, 1963 in Oakland, California) is a former professional American football wide receiver who played 11 seasons in the National Football League from 1986 to 1996. He played for the Dallas Cowboys, the San Francisco 49ers, the New York Giants, and the Denver Broncos.
Sherrard attended Chico High School in Chico, California, where he was a multi-sport athlete, lettering in football, basketball and track. His mother Cherrie Sherrard was a successful 80 metres hurdler.
Although Sherrard came to UCLA as an unrecruited walk-on athlete, by his sophomore season in 1983 he was already a starter at wide receiver, was named to the third-team All-American after caching 48 passes for 709 yards and also set a UCLA record for sophomore receptions in a season. During his senior season, although he broke his collarbone and missed five games, he returned to finish the season.
Sherrard left as the school's all-time leading receiver in a season and a career, was a member of three Rose Bowl-winning Bruin teams. He ranks among UCLA's all-time receiving leaders, with 124 receptions (seventh on the all-time list) in his career for 1,937 yards (tenth on the all-time list) and 10 touchdowns.
In the 1986 NFL Draft the Dallas Cowboys traded up from the 20th to the 18th position with the San Francisco 49ers, in exchange for a fifth round draft choice, in order to select Sherrard, who became only the second wide receiver ever drafted by the franchise in the first round (Dennis Homan was the first one in 1968).
Sherrard started what seemed to be a very promising NFL career, after playing in all 16 games (4 starts), registering 41 receptions for 744 yards and leading the team with 5 receiving touchdowns. At the time his totals ranked third for most receptions, third for most receiving yards, and second for most receiving touchdowns by a rookie in franchise history.
In 1987 he came into training camp as the Cowboys best wide receiver, but was lost for the year when he was tripped by a defender during a scrimmage and shattered two bones (the tibia and fibula) in his right leg. He also missed the 1988 season, when he re-fractured his right leg tibia and also the shin bone, while jogging on a Santa Monica beach as part of his rehab treatment.
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers signed Sherrard in Plan B free agency in 1989, but put him on the Physically Unable to Perform list for the entire regular season, allowing him plenty of time to heal for the playoffs, where he caught 3 passes for 40 yards and was a part of the Super Bowl XXIV winning team.
In 1990 he was off to a solid start, but broke his right fibula in the 49ers' victory over the Cleveland Browns. Sherrard played with the 49ers for 3 seasons, improving his stats each year and in 1992, he played in all 16 games (8 starts), catching 38 passes for 607 yards.
New York Giants
He signed as a free agent with the New York Giants in 1993, and was off to a good start with 24 receptions for 433 yards and 2 touchdowns through the first 6 games, but lost the rest of the season after fracturing his left hip socket playing against the Philadelphia Eagles. He also had injury complications when he was diagnosed as having a blood clot in the same hip.
His best professional season came in 1994, when he had career-highs in starts (14), receptions (53), receiving yards (825) and touchdowns (6). The next season he played in 13 games (13 starts), catching 44 receptions for 577 yards and 4 touchdowns.
In 1996 he signed as a free agent with the Denver Broncos, where he only played one season as a reserve, before announcing his retirement on August 6, 1997. Sherrard persevered through multiple injuries and doubts about his future, to play 11 seasons in the NFL catching 257 passes for 3,931 yards and 22 touchdowns.
His mother Cherrie, ran the 80 metres hurdles in the 1964 Summer Olympics and won a gold medal in the 1967 Pan American Games. His father Robert, played college basketball, semipro baseball and was a college professor at California State University. He is a cousin of NFL hall of famer cornerback Darrell Green.
After retirement, Sherrard worked as a fundraiser for Autism Speaks. He currently lives in Westlake Village, California with his daughter and two sons and is involved in television production. He will serve as offensive coordinator at Oaks Christian (CA) HS in the 2014 football season.
- Friend, Tom (1987-08-06). "Cowboys' Sherrard Breaks Leg, Lost for Season". Los Angeles Times.
- Bonk, Thomas (1988-03-08). "Sherrard's Right Leg Is Broken Again as He Jogs". Los Angeles Times.
- Penner, Mike (1990-01-27). "Sherrard Finally Caught Good Break : 49ers: Tough-luck receiver goes from last-place Cowboys to Super Bowl champions--and he's playing again". Los Angeles Times.
- "PRO FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : AROUND THE NFL : Sherrard Probably Out for Season". Los Angeles Times. 1993-10-19.
- "Mike Sherrard and Coach John Beck reminisce on the first steps Sherrard took toward the NFL— cat tracks at Chico High".