Hall of Fame-happy Sherrill: ‘It all depends on Dak’

Cleveland
Cleveland

Jackie Sherrill, who won monster victories at Texas A & M and Mississippi State and keeps close ties to both programs, stops short of predicting a victor for this Saturday’s game at College Station. And he won’t say which team, if any, he will pull for.

“I’ll wear maroon and white, I’ll tell you that much,” Sherrill said, referring to the colors of both A & M and State.

Asked point-blank — who are you picking? — Sherrill responded, “It all depends on Dak.”

“Every Mississippi State game is predicated on how Dak plays,” Sherrill said. “There’s no question how talented Dak is. If Dak had played early in the LSU game the way he played in the fourth quarter, State would have beaten LSU.”

No argument here about Prescott. Sherrill had other observations:

• “A & M has better receivers overall. A & M is as good as anybody at that position.”

• State has better inside people and better linebackers on defense that A & M but A& M is better on the edge. Myles Garrett is as good a pass rusher as you are going to see. It’s almost impossible for one tackle to block him. He is really outstanding and could be the difference.”

• “Texas A & M is more mature and has more experience in the offensive line.”

• “The biggest difference between the two teams is Dak for State and the A & M receivers. We’ll see who makes the most plays.”

If it sounds like Sherrill almost puts the game on Prescott’s shoulder, well, he does. We can expect Dan Mullen to pretty much do the same Saturday at College Station.

My pick, since Jackie won’t make one: State 27, Aggies 24. Dak makes a play at the end to win it.

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Sherrill was in Jackson Monday for the press conference announcing the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016.

Sherrill in chair
Jackie Sherrill used a chair to become taller than Larry Smith and tower over Kay James. (Photo by Elwin Williams)

He appeared to have a blast.

When the new inductees lined up for photos, Sherrill was alongside Alcorn basketball legend Larry Smith, who towered above everyone.

“Wait a second,” Sherrill said, and he went and got a chair and stood on it, making him taller than Smith.

“Now then, take your pictures,” he said, smiling, while the others laughed.

In honor of former Ole Miss and NFL standout Wesley Walls, Sherrill called the University of Mississippi “Ole Miss.” In fact, he did it twice.

Sherrill never would use the words Ole and Miss together when he was at State, always referring to State’s arch-rival as Mississippi. He made a point to do it Monday.

“That’s in honor of Wesley Walls, a player I greatly respect,” Sherrill said. “Wesley, that should tell you how much I respect you.”

Sherrill obviously was moved by his selection.

“Having played at Biloxi and coached at Mississippi State, I have played and coached with and against many of the athletes and coaches who are in this Hall of Fame,” Sherrill said. “Obviously, it is a great, great honor to join the many great athletes and coaches who have shaped sports in this state. I am thrilled to be included.”

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One last Sherrill story. When State played Texas early in his first season (1991) in Starkville, I interviewed him for a column early that week.

“We’re going to beat Texas,” Sherrill said “This is off the record, but I am telling you we’re going to beat Texas. If there’s one thing I know how to do, I know how to beat Texas.”

Final score: State 13, Texas 6. After losing his first two games coaching against Texas, Sherrill won his next seven, including two at State.

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2 thoughts on “Hall of Fame-happy Sherrill: ‘It all depends on Dak’”

  1. Sherrill won his last seven games against Texas? What about the 1999 Cotton Bowl? Seems like I remember Ricky Williams and Major Applewhite putting a hurtin’ on my Bulldogs to the tune of 38-11.

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