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Marcus Sherels Happy to Stay Home in Minnesota

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Vikings cornerback Marcus Sherels is a man of few words, but his impact on the team speaks volumes.

Fortunately for Vikings fans, he'll continue making a difference in purple and gold.

The team announced Tuesday that Sherels has been re-signed.

Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer said he's extremely happy Sherels will be back on the field for Minnesota in 2016.

"I'm very excited Marcus decided to come back to Minnesota," Priefer told "He's not only an excellent punt returner and outstanding special teams player in the coverage phases, but he's great for our locker room. He sets a great example for the young players. He's becoming a veteran leader – he's not a real 'rah-rah guy,' but he leads by example. He has great work ethic."

A native of Rochester, Sherels joined the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2010. After spending the first 15 games on the practice squad, he received a nod to the active roster for the final game of the 2010-11 season. Sherels has played 81 games over his six-season career.

Primarily used in special teams, Sherels has been a standout as one of the league's better gunners on the punt-coverage team and has been one of the most dynamic punt returners.  

In 2013, Sherels' 15.2 punt return average ranked first in franchise history and second in the NFL. In 2014, he placed sixth in the NFL and third in the NFC with an average of 11.0 yards per return.

Sherels ranked 12th in the NFL last season with an average of 9.1 yards per punt return and seventh for total punt return yards (311). On Nov. 1, Sherels scored a 65-yard touchdown on a punt return to help the Vikings beat the Bears 23-20; the performance earned him NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

The 2016 season will mark Priefer's sixth season coaching Sherels, who hasn't missed a game since joining the Vikings active roster. Priefer said Sherels understands how to prepare for games and has proven himself to be durable from both a physical and mental standpoint.

"He knows how to prepare for the game and for the opponent," Priefer said. "He's extremely coachable, and he's gotten better every year that we've been together. He's just one of those young men that you enjoy coaching because you can see the results of all his hard work and what he's accomplished in his career."

Over his time with the Vikings, Sherels has recorded 97 tackles, 1.0 sack, two forced fumbles, one interception, 2,495 punt return yards and three touchdowns.

Sherels has spent his entire football career in his home state. He played for John Marshall High School in Rochester, where he was used on both sides of the ball as a wide receiver, running back and defensive back. Sherels then went on to play collegiately for the University of Minnesota, starting as a walk-on before earning a scholarship. He recorded four career interceptions with the Gophers and returned a fumble 88 yards for a touchdown during the 2009-10 season.

"I think he enjoys playing in Minnesota," Priefer said. "He enjoys the fans, he enjoys the people that know him. Everyone in the whole state, all the Vikings fans, know who Marcus Sherels is. He's just a good person and a great representative of our organization. I'm really proud of all his accomplishments, and hopefully we can keep building on those."

While it was reported that Sherels visited with other teams at the start of the league's free agency period, he's thrilled to be returning for another stint with Minnesota.

"I'm excited to be staying," Sherels said. "I love it here. I've played here my whole career, and the Vikings are such a great organization. I couldn't be any more excited."

Sherels joins Minnesota natives Adam Thielen and Carter Bykowski in re-signing with the Vikings.

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