Richard Sherman keeps promise to send Virginia high school student to college

Cornerback Richard Sherman #25 of the Seattle Seahawks is seen during Super Bowl XLVIII against the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on February 2, 2014. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is making good on a promise he made a year ago to send a Virginia high school student to college if she made honor roll during her senior year.

“I was in shock. I believe I said ‘Really?’ for reassurance,”  Varina senior Hershai James told the Richmond Times.

The Times reports that Sherman and James first met last year at a celebrity waiter dinner and football camp to benefit Excel to Excellence Foundation, a foundation Sherman supports every year with Seattle teammate and friend Michael Robinson.

It was there Sherman challenged James to improve her grades. The incentive: a college scholarship.

“I just felt so blessed to have been given the wonderful opportunity,” said James.

Last weekend, the two met at the event again where Sherman gladly honored the promise.

“It goes back to knowledge is power and if you have knowledge you’re going to be as powerful as you ever want to be,” Sherman told the newspaper. “Nobody stops anybody from reading and educating themselves. Mike is only trying to empower these kids to be everything that they can be and if we can help with that with our presence, with our (autographed) jerseys (for an auction), with our words, we’ll do everything we can.”

James will graduate from Varina High School and plans to study business at Norfolk State University this fall.

Former Seattle Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson started the Excel to Excellence Foundation in 2010 to address his concern for children who were getting left behind in their education, environment, and society. Robinson also graduated from Varina High School.