STANFORD, Calif. -- Richard Sherman has kept a consistent presence around the Stanford football program since being drafted in 2011, but Tuesday's visit to spring practice was a little different.
He returned a Super Bowl champion.
The All-Pro cornerback is part of a group of several NFL players -- including Andrew Luck, Zach Ertz and Jonathan Martin -- back on campus as part of a coordinated trip. More than 20 are expected back at some point to train together and take advantage of the program's new alumni locker room, which was part of a $21-million addition to the Arrillaga Family Sports Center completed in October.
"It's unbelievable, man," Sherman said. "It feels nice to have somewhere to go when you come here. You don't have to borrow or bum any of the young guys' lockers."
That Stanford has a designated area for NFL players is symbolic in the program's rise.
"It's a testament to a lot of groups of guys. It's testament to the group of guys that came before us who set the groundwork for us," Sherman said. "Jim Harbaugh did a heck of a job changing the culture and changing the mindset and also the players now."
Sherman's arrival was good timing, too. The Cardinal are still without a full-time defensive backs coach following Derek Mason's departure for Vanderbilt and are in the process of converting Kodi Whitfield from receiver to safety. Sherman made a similar change, albeit to corner, while he was at Stanford.
The Seahawks star spoke with Whitfield and other defensive backs about technique during position drills and watched from the sideline during team drills.
"He's trying not to coach from the sidelines, but he can't help himself sometimes," Stanford coach David Shaw said. "Just the fact that he's here, just the fact that he's around kind of reaffirms why some of these guys are here."
Sherman said he would like to get into coaching after his NFL career is over, but said he's more interested in the high school level.
He will spend the majority of his offseason in Seattle, but, along with several others, plans on being a visitor to his old home.