Now with the Edmonton Eskimos, linebacker leads the league in tackles and is on an early pace to set the CFL tackles record
What J.C. Sherritt accomplished at the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision level is happening again with the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League.
A second-year pro, the former Eastern Washington University linebacker has been selected as the CFL Defensive Player of the Month for July. He has a league-leading 41 tackles, including three for losses, a forced fumble and two special teams tackles. The 2010 winner of the Buck Buchanan Award is currently on pace to break the single-season record for tackles of 129, set by Calvin Tiggle of the Toronto Argonauts in 1994.
In his most recent outing against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on July 26, Sherritt finished with 10 tackles in a 23-22 loss. It was a performance that earned Sherritt CFL Defensive Player of the Week honors – the second time in five games this season he’s been given that award.
Sherritt and the Eskimos are off this week, but will be back in action Aug. 10 when they host the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The Eskimos went into their break with a 3-2 record, tied with the Roughriders and B.C. Lions for the top spot in the West Division. So far this season, the Eskimos have allowed the fewest points in the league, giving up an average of just 15.8 per contest.
At Eastern, Sherritt was a two-time consensus All-American and ended his career as a national champion. Eastern defeated Delaware 20-19 on Jan. 7, 2011, in Frisco, Texas, to capture the 2010 NCAA Division I title in his final game as an Eagle. He finished with a school-record 432 tackles in his 47-game career (35 as a starter) to rank second in Big Sky history and 10th all-time in the FCS.
On the eve of the title game, Sherritt was awarded the Buck Buchanan Award presented by The Sports Network to the top defensive player in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision. Sherritt finished his senior season with 176 tackles, which ranked sixth in FCS history and bettered his own league and school records from 2009 when he finished with 170 tackles.
Below is a current list of former Eastern players now in the professional ranks.
Eagles in the Pros
Since 1984, when Eastern became a member of the NCAA Championship Subdivision (FCS), 64 Eastern football players have either signed free agent contracts or have been drafted by National Football League (NFL) or Canadian Football League (CFL) teams. Ten have been drafted by the NFL and five drafted by the CFL to go along with four NFL draftees between 1965-74. Eastern has also enjoyed a recent influx of players into the Arena Football League (AFL) and arenafootball2 (af2), as well as in the United Football League (UFL) and Indoor Football League (IFL). Prior to that, several played in the World League, which became NFL Europa before it folded. The list below shows EWU’s current professionals and the team they are currently with. In the bios that follow, the years listed are the years they lettered at Eastern. The second line is the original team they were drafted by or signed a free agent contract with.
2011 Professionals (as of July 31, 2012)
Dallas Cowboys (NFL) – Matt Johnson – Safety – Letterwinner at EWU 2008-09-10-11
Oakland Raiders (NFL) - Taiwan Jones – Running Back – 2008-09-10
Detroit Lions (NFL) - Nathan Overbay – Tight End – 2006-07-08-09
New York Jets (NFL) - Isaiah Trufant – Defensive Back – 2002-03-04-05
Tennessee Titans (NFL) - Michael Roos – Offensive Tackle – 2001-02-03-04
Calgary Stampeders (CFL) – Bo Levi Mitchell – Quarterback – 2010-11
Edmonton Eskimos (CFL) - J.C. Sherritt – Linebacker – 2007-08-09-10
Edmonton Eskimos (CFL) - Matt Nichols – Quarterback – 2006-07-08-09
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (CFL) - Greg Peach – Defensive Line – 2005-06-07-08
Montreal Alouettes (CFL) - Shea Emry – Linebacker – 2005-06
British Columbia Lions (CFL) - Ryan Phillips – Defensive Back – 2003-04
Spokane Shock (AFL) - Erik Meyer – Quarterback – 2002-03-04-05
Allen Wranglers (IFL) - Muhammad Shamsid-Deen – Defensive Back – 2002-03-04-05
TBD (released by Calgary of the CFL) – Renard Williams – Defensive Line – 2008-09-10-11
TBD (released by Seattle of the NFL) - Jesse Hoffman – Cornerback/Special Teams – 2006-08-09-10
TBD (released by Calgary of the CFL) - J.T. Leggin – Safety – 2008-09
PROFESSSIONAL CAREER BIO . . . J.C. Sherritt – Linebacker – 2007-08-09-10 Letterwinner at EWU
Signed a free agent contract with the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL in 2011.
The 2010 recipient of the Buck Buchanan Award given to the top defensive player in the NCAA Championship Subdivision, Sherritt signed as a free agent with the Edmonton Eskimos on April 20, 2011. There, he re-joined former Eastern teammates Greg Peach – the 2008 Buchanan winner (and now with Hamilton in the CFL) – and quarterback Matt Nichols. Sherritt made a splash as a rookie, and has continued that in the 2012 season. He finished the 2011 season as the Western Division finalist for Most Outstanding Rookie. He had 11 tackles in his CFL debut, and went on to start 15 games before being hampered late in the year by a finger injury that required surgery and an ankle injury suffered on Oct. 21 that kept him out of the last two regular season games. Sherritt led the CFL in tackles early in his rookie season, but fell to 12th because of his injuries. He had 58 stops after 10 games to rank second in the CFL at the time. He finished the season with 72 defensive tackles, three quarterback sacks, three tackles for losses for 4 yards, three pass knockdowns, three forced fumbles and 13 special teams tackles. Through the team’s first five weeks of his second season, he led the CFL with 41 defensive tackles. He was the CFL’s Defensive Player of the Week following a 19-15 victory against the Toronto Argonauts on June 30, 2012, when he had 11 tackles and a forced fumble. He repeated the honor when he had a game-high 10 tackles in the Esks' 23-22 loss to Winnipeg on July 26, 2012. As a result, he was selected as CFL Defensive Player of the Month for July. At Eastern, Sherritt was the national defensive player of the year, a two-time consensus All-American and ended his career as a national champion. Eastern defeated Delaware 20-19 on Jan. 7, 2011, in Frisco, Texas, to capture the 2010 NCAA Division I title in his final game as an Eagle. He finished his career with a school-record 432 tackles in his 47-game career (35 as a starter) to rank second in Big Sky history and 10th all-time in the FCS. On the eve of the title game, Sherritt was awarded the Buck Buchanan Award presented by The Sports Network to the top defensive player in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision. Sherritt was also selected to six different All-America teams as a first-team selection, and was the College Sporting News Defensive Player of the Year and the Big Sky Defensive MVP. In addition, the Inland Northwest Sportswriters and Broadcasters (SWABS) selected Sherritt as the Male Amateur Athlete of the Year. Sherritt finished his senior season with 176 tackles, which ranks sixth in FCS history and bettered his own league and school records from 2009 when he finished with 170 tackles. He finished the 2010 season ranked eighth in the FCS with an average of 11.7 tackles per game after leading FCS as a junior (14.2 per game). Sherritt concluded his career with 18 tackles and a pass broken up in the national championship game. Earlier in the playoffs, in a 38-31 overtime victory over North Dakota State, Sherritt broke the school record of 399 career tackles previously held by Greg Belzer (1997-2000). He capped his record-breaking night by forcing the fumble that was recovered by EWU to end the game against NDSU at the Eastern 1-yard line. He added eight tackles versus Villanova in the FCS semifinals. He also had six career interceptions to go along with 13 passes broken up, six forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and a trio of sacks, with a total of 35 1/2 tackles for loss totaling 79 yards in losses.