‘Papo’ Jordan Sherit thriving in final season with Florida Gators

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Jordan Sherit’s nickname is actually one he attempted to pass off to a teammate.

Early in their careers at Florida, Sherit would call roommate and cornerback Vernon Hargreaves “Papo,” a Cuban phrase of endearment that Sherit said is the equivalent of “bro” or “my friend.”

Hargreaves returned the favor.

“When I would make a play, in the defensive meeting room he would say ‘Papo made a play,’ ” Sherit said.

The nickname stuck with Sherit. It started with Hargreaves, the two-year roommate and three-year teammate who enrolled with Sherit in 2013. Then the position coaches began embracing it. Eventually then-defensive coordinator Geoff Collins joined in on the fun.

“Now,” Sherit said, “it seems like the coaches and the players don’t even know my real name.”

Fast forward to 2017. Hargreaves is in his second season in the NFL, a first-round draft pick playing on Sundays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Sherit is a fifth-year senior defensive lineman at Florida, one of just five players left from that 2013 recruiting class that ranked third in the country, according to the 247Sports composite .

And Papo is making plays on a regular basis for the Gators.

After four years of fighting for playing time and fighting through injuries, Sherit is emerging as a veteran presence on a young Florida defense.

It’s a testament to his perseverance. It’s a sign that Sherit might be turning the corner in his last attempt to impress NFL scouts.

And it provides him with a sense of relief after not being able to live up to his potential for the first four years.

“For me,” Sherit said, “I always thought I was always that one step away.” ‘Do I want to come back?’

Jordan Sherit tackles LSU’s Derrius Guice. (Jordan McPherson/SEC Country) All Jordan Sherit could do last spring was watch from the sidelines. After undergoing season-ending surgery on his right knee last fall, Sherit was not medically cleared to go through spring practice with the rest of the team.Once again, an injury was holding him back.But this time almost became the last time.“Do I want to come back?” Sherit asked himself. “Do I want to put myself through this again?” He had been through the injury cycle before.Sherit redshirted his freshman season at Florida in 2013 while recovering from a torn ACL he suffered during his senior year of high school.He missed three of the final four games in 2014 with an injury after playing a spot role on the defense, recording 3 tackles and a pass deflection. After a redshirt sophomore season in which Sherit was healthy, he missed the final two games of 2016 with that right knee injury.“Right after it happened I was kinda bummed,” Sherit said. “I didn’t really know what the future would be before I knew what the injury was.”After surgery that fall and contemplation that spring, Sherit knew the answer.“Without question I wanted to come back,” he said. “I feel like this might be my best year.”Sherit knew the road wouldn’t necessarily be an easy one, […]