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Jeff Sentell/DawgNation
5-star OLB Mekhail Sherman is now fully cleared from his ACL injury.

5-star LB commit Mekhail Sherman gets some long-awaited good news

Mekhail Sherman chose the words “unchained” and “grateful” to describe how he is feeling today. Green lights for a full go to play do mean that much to a player.

The 5-star LB chose to tweet out the good word from his doctor that he was cleared to play this weekend.

His sister Raisa Sherman also tweeted about it.  Twice.

Donnie Blue, his soon-to-be brother-in-law, was in on it.

There are a lot of folks on the train when it comes to Sherman. He would always prioritized family time with his inner circle over going on a lot of visits.

The news completes a 10-month test of faith and patience on Sherman’s part.

The injury happened, like most do, on a fluke. But this was a few first downs farther than just that. His knee joint was leg-whipped by his own teammate.

He suffered a completely torn anterior cruciate ligament and partial lateral meniscus tear.

“The knee and what it will do to you really all that has done is given me more fuel to my fire,” Sherman said after G-Day. “You can love the game so much but the game will cheat you. It cheated me. I got leg-whipped by my own teammate. My ACL was torn. But all that it did was I had to sit back.”

“Then I had to talk to God. I had to talk to family and realize why I do this. I had to revert back to why I do this. Now, this injury will not only touch you physically but also touch you mentally. All I have been doing is going through these trials and tribulations between physical, mental and spiritual ways to get stronger. So when I get back on that field there is no turning back.”

Sherman is now cleared to return to the field. It should be very fun to watch.

“My playing style is based off making the offensive coordinator’s pregame night restless,” he said.

To put it simply, he’s a different sort of recruit. He carries a keen perspective on all things, including social issues.

Why does he play the game? He shared that answer in perhaps his definitive DawgNation interview up to this point. His response to that question carried along for 700 words. 

His latest update with DawgNation shared his view on how he feels the 2020 recruiting class is shaping up.

RELATED: 5-star OLB commit Mekhail Sherman has 2020 vision on the recruiting trail for UGA

The long 10 months back for Mekhail Sherman

Sherman was injured in his third game last fall. The highlight tapes out there of him are mostly spliced together from his sophomore year. Those are of 5-star quality, but they show a young man who was only 15 years old at the time back during the 2017 season.

The 6-foot-3, 235-pound senior was talented enough to make the Opening finals as a rare junior in the summer of 2018. He even clocked the laser 4.5s in combine testing to reach the “Fastest Man” competition.

His best laser time was 4.53 that day. To put that in perspective, freshman OLB Nolan Smith ran a 4.55 in the 40 for his rating card that day.

He had hoped to be cleared in the spring, but his physicians felt it was better to wait. That’s why the nation’s No. 2 OLB prospect and No. 14 overall prospect (247Sports Composite ratings) opted to keep the focus on his health for his senior season.

With that, he was okay. Content enough to realize that he got to experience all those things as a junior. For that, he was grateful.

“No need to be sorry,” Sherman told DawgNation earlier this year. “I experienced it [The Opening finals] once my sophomore year. It’s all for the good. My senior season will make up for it.”

He was very eager to get the clearance he received today.

“This time away from it only added fuel to the fire,” he said back in March. “I’m ready to show the nation what they missed and more.”

Sherman is now one of the clear anchors for the 2020 recruiting class in Athens.

Mekhail Sherman-UGA recruiting-Georgia recruiting
Mekhail Sherman committed to Georgia shortly after his G-Day official visit earlier this year. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

How Mekhail Sherman fits in at UGA

Adaptability is one of the best player abilities a prospect can have.

Hybrids are a beautiful thing to big boy programs. That can lead to a 4-3 or a 5-2 front. It will allow the defensive staff to match wits with a hurry-up tempo coordinator who would rather pop off reps with “00”, “01” or “10” or “11” personnel packages.

Kirby Smart and Dan Lanning might dream of any defense with at least six highly-adaptable players. The back end would be flush with DBs that can run and tackle but also flash ball skills with length.

With five or six guys like that, they would likely not care who was the nickel or which guys looked like safeties playing corner in the base package.

That same versatility would be welcomed across the second level of the front. The aim is to find linebackers who can hold strong against the run, rush the passer and drop into the flats. Can they also shadow a free receiver like the tight end?

Those are all things that NFL Pro Bowlers Khalil Mack and Von Miller can also do. They just don’t get the big bucks for that. Lorenzo Carter did that well for the Bulldogs, too.

Sherman is big and athletic enough to play at either LB spot. He’s a hybrid in the same vein Quay Walker was when he came to Georgia. Walker was a fast athletic guy. A three-down option at LB. But Sherman was a step faster than Walker before his knee injury.

Sherman threw the power ball 44 feet at Nike Combine testing in July of 2018. His work that day also included a 33.8-inch vertical leap.

He has also shown an ideal mindset to work with. Coachability is another of his strengths.

“I’m not looking to go anywhere to be a star,” Sherman said back in 2018. “Being a star would be great. I feel like I could be a star anywhere I go. I feel like I need someplace that will actually clamp down on me and make my abilities grow as a DE and as an OLB to make me better. Better all the time. To keep making me better to be the best that I can be. Not shine like a star.”

More than anything, it seemed like Sherman chose the school which will not allow him to fail.

“It is what type of school will make me the better person,” Sherman said. “Not just a football player only. Because right now I am still raw. I haven’t really cracked anything yet. My potential is still way up there. I still haven’t reached it yet. I need somewhere that can really push me to that limit.”

Check out his tweet after Georgia picked up another elite OL commit last week with Sedrick Van Pran.

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