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SHERMAN WILSON: BEHIND THE SCENES W/ LSU'S SECRET RECRUITING WEAPON

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by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

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Quite possibly LSU Recruiting’s ultimate secret weapon, Brian Kelly’s hand-selected Recruiting Specialist Sherman Wilson joined the Jordy Culotta Show in yet another explosive installment of the Show’s staff interview series.

Following in his father’s pastor footsteps, Wilson delivered an intimate, near hour-long sermon on faith, family, football, Louisiana, how Katrina forced his family from their home during his senior year of high school, the long road traveled & obstacles overcome to live out his dreams, the hard work undertaken by Kelly’s innovative recruiting staff, and how blessed he is feeling since making the jump to LSU.

As a standout among Brian Kelly’s group of hungry young staffers & assistants, Sherman Wilson is another rising star in college football, climbing to the pinnacle of the sport after years of grinding at various Louisiana high schools, Southern University, Memphis, an NFL internship with Sean McVay's LA Rams, and most recently recruiting alongside Joe Sloan as Louisiana Tech's Recruiting Coordinator.

Forming a strong young support staffer nucleus alongside peers JR Belton, Jordan Arcement and Corey Phillips, The Jordy Culotta Show invited Wilson on to the show to find out some of his secrets to LSU's recent recruiting success, as well as their approach to recruiting in-state prospects compared to national recruits.

Although there remained far much more on the docket than mere recruiting talk:

Speaking about his roots growing up in New Orleans, specifically the power of his family's faith, Wilson discussed his family background, including his father’s service as a local Christian preacher:

"Football was not really a big thing in my family. My family is really rooted in their faith. I would miss football practice because I had to go to church on Wednesday....like, My Dad's an evangelist, my Mom's a missionary, my Grandma's a pastor so it was like...wow, it was no nonsense on that. Doesn't matter what we were doing like Sunday, Wednesday and Fridays...."

Opening up to Culotta, Sherman even touched on his struggles in school at a very early age:

"I was horrible in school, like I got put out of eight different schools: three middle (schools), three elementaries, four middle schools, like three high schools..."

Despite his earlier shortcomings pertaining to his education, Jordy was quick to point out the facts: Sherman currently holds a Master's Degree, with Wilson replying "I actually stopped my doctorate two years ago so I could continue to pursue (football recruiting)..."

Sherman also revealed how his family were displaced in the wake of Hurricane Katrina's horrible deluge:

"Katrina hit my senior year of high school and we had to relocate to Pensacola...Pensacola, Florida. That's where I learned hard work, watching my Dad driving back and forth from New Orleans to Pensacola, which was about a three hour drive to watch over us while we stayed in the hotel...."

Sherman continued, "but like I said my family are big on faith and education and that's why my struggles through school is the main reason why I go so hard in-state...to give opportunities to young men and their families because it's a difference maker...not having to pay for school, not having loans or your Mom & Dad and your family stressed about education and you know, what your future is..."

Focusing on Louisiana, Wilson said, "you know that's a big thing, especially in this state. You hear this stuff about 'we're lower in poverty, we're low in education', but you know it's because of opportunities. It's not because of 'want to'. We want to succeed, you know what I'm saying...that's why you look at everyone that comes out of this state, that's why they thrive. Because when given an opportunity, an equal opportunity, we're different...we're bred different...it's in our veins....it's in what we do..."

"That's why you hear it in Jordan's (Arcement) voice when we talk about recruiting at LSU, we know when we give an in-state kid a chance, we know they're going to over-achieve..."

Asked about his perspective on LSU growing up in New Orleans, Sherman told Jordy, "We didn't have money to go see LSU games, and I wasn't the biggest LSU fan, I grew up watching wrestling, my favorite wrestler was the Undertaker! But as I got older in this business, I fell in love with football. It gave me an opportunity. As you can see now I can talk, I love that. I love helping people."

Unveiling his longtime friendship with fellow LSU staffer Jordan Arcement, Sherman detailed:

"....And the recruiting thing, that's how Jordan and I met. We both had a little issue with high school and we kinda talked through that at a Nicholls camp. We met there & we would travel together to camps. Every camp I went to, every time I turned around, Jordan was there. I was like 'look, dude, you following me?' But he's a great....he played at Nicholls, I went to Southeastern and so like I say, we just had a lot to talk about...watching his rise, because you know the energy & effort he did. Some people look at it like it's a negative, the energy and passion....it's not...the energy and passion for this state are there. I think we work well together, he does the offense and I do the defense, but we intertwine, there's no overstepping each other."

Sherman also dropped the news many missed: He is a Super Bowl winner from his time as an intern scout with the LA Rams, working with the organization remotely from 2018 to early 2022, earning a Super Bowl ring in the process, even heading out to Los Angeles (with Arcement in tow) for the Rams’ Super Bowl LVI victory.

When Jordy asked about Sherman's role in recruiting, ("are you on the phone all day?"), Sherman spoke about his job being centered around communication, constant texting and calling with recruits. "The rule of thumb is 'if you're not communicating with a kid, someone else is'..."

Discussing the nature of recruiting nationally as opposed to locally, Wilson explained, “it takes time to establish the relationships in-state, because this state is a relationship-based state. So, trust has to be established first..."

"LSU sells itself, but when you put the right people in the right places, that's when you can go on a national level. Because when you walk into a building...like it's LSU on your chest. And people respect that. But when you add a certain component of person into it, then they're listening, now we're understanding, now we're respected...."

As the conversation moved at a breakneck pace, Wilson shined light on where the #BKTakeOver hash tag originated: "We want people to respect him (Kelly), we want people to respect what he's done. You know what Bernie Mac said, 'put some respect on his name'. Let's not go too far with this, like this guy is a winner, in everything that he does. So why play around with it? We need you to understand what you're doing when you come at him, when you come at us...now this is the result and you've gotta live with it, 'cause we ain't going anywhere. The thing is....we're starving and we gonna eat...and it’s that simple."

Pointing out Death Valley's purpose as a recruiting tool, "outside of some soccer atmospheres, there is no better atmosphere than Death Valley on a Saturday night. 102,000...it's different...."

Running through LSU's recruiting operations, his appreciation for Jamar Cain's work ethic, calling Frank Wilson "the G.O.A.T" alongside plenty of other topics, Sherman escorted Jordy Culotta Show viewers on an All-Access tour for over 45 minutes.

Supplying endless personality drenched in Louisiana swagger, sharing boundless information, constant candid moments and a no-holds-barred / behind the scenes view of LSU's recruiting world, it's no wonder Sherman Wilson is considered among the program's most compelling, charismatic, respected and relatable figures.


ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 8/11/2022 on effemm.com for the Jordy Culotta Show


by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

FOLLOW US ON X/TWITTER @LonnPhillips

FOLLOW US ON IG @lsuodyssey

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