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Wednesday, December 08, 2021
Sherer uses experience to help Badgers mature

sherer: Coaches say Dustin Sherer has become a coach and mentor for the young quarterbacks on the Wisconsin football team.

Sherer uses experience to help Badgers mature

Most people would get discouraged when something they worked four years for didn't work out. They might quit, try to escape the disappointment, or even get mad. Dustin Sherer isn't like most people.

The senior started the final seven games of the 2008 season, but at the end of the summer found himself on the losing end of a quarterback competition. Instead of pouting, he chose to accept and build on what happened and has now become a mentor to the younger quarterbacks and almost another coach.

""I can't say enough about Dustin Sherer, I can't pay him, the NCAA won't let us, but he is becoming a very, very good assistant quarterback coach,"" Bielema said. ""He's in the guy's ears, and for him to be in that situation, that's special to watch as a coach.""

Wisconsin was 4-3 with Sherer as a starter, but during the summer he grew more aware that practice reps were being shifted away from him and to junior Scott Tolzien and freshman Curt Phillips. Sure, he'd thrown for nearly 1,400 yards, but as the season grew closer, he became pretty sure about what would happen. 

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When Sherer learned the news that he had indeed lost the starting spot, his first thought was to transfer to a division II school where he could play out his final year of eligibility.

After talking with his father and high school coach, he made the decision to stay.

""I kind of looked back, I spent a lot of years at Wisconsin, I've worked really hard to be here,"" Sherer said. ""I want to stick around with the team because I've got a lot of friends here, I've got a lot of respect for a lot of the guys on this team, and I have a lot of respect for the quarterbacks that I play with. I think that it was just a decision that was kind of hard for me at first, something I kind of got over.""

He instead focused on helping the two players who would hold his former job. His experience is the main attribute Tolzien and Phillips lack, so he's worked to pass on that knowledge and understanding of how to view the game from behind center.

""It's kind of unique, and it's fun. Obviously I'm the live signaler, I do all the signals. I'm the one that it goes straight through. I'm talking to coach [Paul] Chryst during the games,"" Sherer said. ""It's kind of fun, because being 22 years old, coach Chryst even asks my opinion about a lot of things. So it's kind of cool to know that he has that kind of trust in me still.""

Tolzien credited Sherer for playing a calming role on the sidelines, helping him to filter through and process the advice coaches were giving him. Playing before over 80,000 people, a quarterback will be rattled at some point, and Sherer helps them find how the can best handle it, drawing on his experience watching players like John Stocco and Allan Evridge.

Both young signal callers pointed to the fact that Sherer had quite recently been in their shoes as something that has been a big help early in the season.

""Sometime coach Chryst will say something one way and then he can turn that into, ‘alright, well coach Chryst says it like this and I'd read through it like this,'"" Phillips said. ""So you get the best of both worlds.""

What Tolzien, Phillips and Chryst made clear was that the decision to stay was a direct sign of the kind of character Sherer has. The respect for teammates and coaches kept him in Madison, and his ability to overcome a rought situation has earned him some respect in return.

Many college football players have just abandoned their teams when their opportunity for individual success was missed, but Sherer would not.

""There's been guys that haven't [stuck with the team] and I think it speaks to what kind of character the guy has,"" Chryst said of Sherer. ""He's big time, I love the kid.""

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