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Hillsborough defensive end Jordan Sherit, who made an oral commitment to the University of Florida during the summer, will miss the rest of his senior season with a knee injury.
Sherit tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the Terriers’ win over Jefferson on Friday.
"He wasn't hit,” Hillsborough coach Earl Garcia said Tuesday morning. “He was just laying on the field on his own. It looked like somebody fell on him."
Initial examinations did not show major damage but an MRI on Monday showed the severity of the injury.
Garcia said Sherit is expected to make a full recovery after having surgery on the knee.
Sherit spoke with Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn Tuesday morning, Garcia said, and the Gators plan to honor their commitment.
"I promise you, the way he works at it, his left knee will be stronger than his right knee when he reports (to Florida),” Garcia said.
The announcement of Sherit’s injury came only a day before the U.S. Army All-American Bowl was set to visit Hillsborough to officially announce his selection to the all-star game. Sherit was poised to become the second Terrier to play in the game, which features about 80 of the nation’s top recruits and is broadcast live on NBC.
Hillsborough’s Jarred Fayson, who initially attended Florida and later transferred to Illinois, was selected to play in the game in 2005.
Garcia said bowl officials still plan to hold the formal invitation ceremony Wednesday morning even though Sherit won't play in the game.
At 6-foot-5 and 234 pounds, Sherit is one of the nation’s mostly highly coveted defensive ends and a consensus four-star recruit. Sherit ranks among the top 20 players at his position nationally, according to recruiting analysts with ESPN, Scout and Yahoo.
Last year, Sherit led the Terriers in tackles (110), sacks (nine) and fumble recoveries (five). Three of the five games in which he collected 10 or more tackles were against local powers Armwood (twice) and Plant.
Through five games this year, Sherit has 21 tackles and six sacks on defense and six catches for 94 yards as a tight end. He also has a 5.7 GPA as an honors student in Hillsborough’s International Baccalaureate program.
“I feel really bad for the kid,” Garcia said. “He’s been a model citizen, been a great player for us.”
Sherit didn’t immediately respond to a message left on his phone but sent out a Tweet Monday night: “Never take anything for granted and play every play like it’s your last."
Sherit, who was No. 6 in the Times' HomeTeam 100, is the latest top recruit in the Tampa Bay area to be sidelined with an injury in 2012. St. Petersburg Catholic’s Ryan Green (shoulder), Pasco’s Janarion Grant (wrist) and Plant’s Richy Klepal (head) have also suffered major injuries this season.
Hillsborough (5-0, 3-0) will play at Sickles (3-2, 1-1) Friday in a pivotal District 8 Class 6A matchup.