STARKVILLE — Derek Sherrod’s Mississippi State career was supposed to come here, to his current position of left tackle, soon enough. MSU coach Sylvester Croom knew that as soon as Sherrod committed.
But Sherrod started out as a reserve at right tackle last fall, working in all but two games as a true freshman. Left tackle was occupied by Mike Brown, the emerging All-Southeastern Conference lineman.
Then came March 27, and the on-campus gunfire incident that claimed the career of Brown, who would have been a senior this fall. Croom approached Sherrod soon afterward, telling him the job was his a year ahead of schedule.