Remembering NFL Journeyman Matthew Cherry’s Unlikely Journey to the Oscars

by Jeremy Spirogis
Matthew Cherry on the red carpet

Matthew Cherry could be an unknown identify to the overwhelming majority of NFL followers on the planet. He by no means made it right into a recreation, but what he did after his profession was over has made him a rising movie star.

Realizing early on that soccer wasn’t for him, Cherry parlayed his NFL profession into that of a filmmaker. Now the winner of an Oscar with a number of notable manufacturing and route credit, Cherry is turning into an influence participant within the leisure business. 

Matthew Cherry’s NFL desires

Matthew Cherry on the red carpet
Matthew A. Cherry | Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

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Out of highschool, Cherry performed at Akron for 4 years. After spending all the freshman season on the sidelines, Cherry got here in as a large receiver throughout his sophomore yr on the faculty. There, he recorded 48 receptions for 3 touchdowns and 630 yards.

After some regression throughout his junior yr. His senior yr put him on the map for NFL scouts. In 12 ages, Cherry obtained the ball 66 occasions for 904 yards and 4 touchdowns. 

Cherry declared his eligibility for the 2004 NFL Draft, however finally went undrafted. After signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent, he was lower throughout the remaining phases of the preseason.

He later resigned with the apply squad. He was signed late within the season by the Cincinnati Bengals however by no means noticed the sector. 

After being waived by Cincinnati, Cherry had a short stint within the CFL with the Ottawa Renegades. After studying that the group ran a disorganized operation, Cherry left.

The group folded shortly afterward. In 2006, he signed with the Carolina Panthers and was allotted to their NFL Europe membership, the Hamburg Sea Devils. He went again to the Panthers earlier than one more waiving. Then, after signing with the Baltimore Ravens, an damage put him out for the yr. 

His soccer profession was over.

Matthew Cherry’s life after soccer

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Failing to make it onto an official NFL roster after three years of making an attempt, Cherry retired and determined to pursue his true ardour — movie. He began his profession as a manufacturing assistant.

Before lengthy, nevertheless, he was directing music movies for main artists equivalent to Michelle Williams, Kelly Rowland, Snoop Dogg, Common, and Beyoncé. 

In 2012, Cherry directed The Last Fall, a movie that he additionally wrote. He started to get discover from the movie business. In 2016, Cherry directed his second movie, 9 Rides. Cherry shot this whole movie on iPhone 6s and was lauded for his storytelling and talent to inform huge tales on a microscopic finances. That identical yr, Cherry had an concept that will change his life without end. 

In 2016, Cherry had an concept to write down a youngsters’s e book about hair. Seeing a rampant underrepresentation of black hair within the media, he wrote Hair Love.

Hair Love instructed the story of a father and his daughter making an attempt to determine easy methods to do her hair whereas the mom battled most cancers and was unable to do her typical duties.

Hair Love was successful, and Cherry had the thought to show it into a brief movie. He began a Kickstarter, which raised $300,000.

In 2019, the work paid off, and the movie was launched alongside The Angry Birds Movie 2.

Matthew Cherry’s ‘Hair Love’

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Hair Love obtained common acclaim. It was a brief, easy story that represented a big group of Americans who sometimes go ignored. To add to the goodwill that got here with the discharge, Cherry grew to become the second actor after the late Kobe Bryant to win an Oscar for the quick movie. Cherry was formally a Hollywood success story. 

Cherry is now a go-to director for a number of tv sequence, a producer on acclaimed movies equivalent to Spike Lee’s BlackKklansman, and an Oscar-winner. He works with Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw productions and has a number of initiatives lined up sooner or later. His story will proceed being an inspiration to everybody and is proof that not each soccer prodigy’s profession will finish on the gridiron. 

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