You may recognize this blonde bombshell from the sidelines of any Gamecock football game. Or maybe she’s the girl next to you in Psychcology. But what you may not know is that Jessie Sherman is a force to be reckoned with. As just a sophomore, she has made one of the biggest comebacks of this school’s history. A severe car crash survivor does make a good story, but the better story is behind the hazel eyes and red lipstick.
Jessie seems nervous but she’s got that 100-watt smile on her face that hides it well. We start off easy with simple questions like her age, major and hometown:
Name: Jessie Marie Sherman
Hometown: Cary, NC (but it’s easier just to tell people Raleigh)
We get on the topic of cheerleading because, when something takes up fifteen years of your life, it’s pretty hard not to talk about. Jessie says she’s tried other sports like basketball and soccer, but she found she only liked to score goals so that she “could do a back handspring to celebrate.”
The large amount of makeup she had to wear at such a young age made her mom a little uncomfortable, but eventually her mom gave in and let Jessie cheer. And she hasn’t stopped since. She toured so many colleges looking for the perfect fit. She even gave Clemson a glance (we have to forgive her for that) before deciding to cheer for Carolina.
“Gameday is my favorite day. The crowd, the fans, the littles, everything comes together to make an atmosphere that is unbeatable. Cheering on my Gamecocks is all I ever want to do on Saturdays in the fall.”
I ask her about the “littles” and she smiles and says, “the little girls who run up to me and ask for autographs or pictures make me realize how big my job is. I’m so lucky and happy to be a role model for them.”
Jessie’s love for children is also what brought her to her current undergrad program.
“My dad worked with a company that did a lot of work in Africa and Asia trying to improve health systems and safety for health workers. I was lucky enough to job shadow him in Namibia, Africa and I fell in love. I was working in schools, orphanages and even hospitals. I want to be able to do some sort of psychology work with kids in third world countries. Africa is where my heart is. Well, besides on the field of course.” She laughs and blushes, like maybe her dream is a little crazy. But it’s important to dream big and if anyone can make it happen, Jessie can.
If it’s off-season, you can find Jessie tanning with her friends at Granby, or at Ruby Tuesday’s because their mac n cheese is “the best thing” she’s ever tasted. Jessie loves Diet Coke and hanging out with all her AXO sisters.
Next time you see her, be sure to say hello! Who knows? Maybe she’ll throw you a t-shirt from the sidelines next fall!