Monday, May 20, 2013
Dawgs host No. 1 prospect in Florida
By Kipp Adams
With basketball season over, the No. 1 prospect in Florida can finally hit the road to check out some college campuses. The No. 12 overall prospect in the ESPN 150 David Sharpe (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence School) has no shortage of options to choose from.
During spring break, Sharpe visited in-state Florida and Florida State. Over the weekend, he spent time at two out-of-state programs. Sharpe got to Clemson on Friday morning and stayed there until Saturday morning. He then spent the rest of the day in Athens, Ga., before visiting with some family in Georgia.
The Tigers definitely made a solid first impression on the 6-foot-6, 290-pound offensive tackle.
“Clemson has just started picking up their recruitment of me,” Sharpe said. “They have a nice program and they need players who can come in and play early, so that stood out a lot. The best part about the visit was seeing the facilities and touring the campus.”
After that, Sharpe was able to check out the Bulldogs, and he admitted he was curious about how the visit would go.
“I wanted to see how everything was at Georgia, how the coaches treated me and what chance I had of playing early if I came to Georgia,” Sharpe said.
Sharpe got his answer loud and clear from the head coach at Georgia.
“Mark Richt said he loved what I can do on the field and that I could come in and play as a true freshman if I worked hard,” Sharpe said. “The staff is very down to earth; they do not hold back the truth and they genuinely seemed excited about me. They think I would be a great fit at Georgia.”
Offensive line coach Will Friend is recruiting Sharpe to Georgia, and the No. 2 offensive tackle in the country has connected well with him so far.
“He is a great guy; he is very funny and down to earth and he is one that I want to continue building a relationship with,” Sharpe said.
Last year Georgia piqued the interest of 2013 ESPN 300 athlete Brendan Langley when it approached him with the possibility of helping out the Bulldogs’ basketball team as well. Sharpe is an impressive player on the hardcourt as well, leading his team to the Florida Class 3A state championship earlier this year. He got some big news during his visit to Georgia.
"Not only was it great to know I could possibly play early at Georgia, but it is also great to know they said I could play basketball there as well, which is a big interest for me,” Sharpe said. “What Georgia did during my visit was not put all their eggs in one basket. They knew my desire to play basketball existed, too, and they showed me that aspect of their program, which really caught my attention.”
After returning home to Jacksonville, Sharpe said that although he did not think poorly of Georgia going into the weekend, his view of the Bulldogs has definitely changed.
“My favorite part about Georgia was seeing the facilities, meeting the coaching staff, learning about how they have a great history of players being successful in life after they leave Georgia,” Sharpe said. “My opinion on Georgia definitely improved because I know what I am going into now and where I would be down the road in that atmosphere.”
Do not expect a decision from Sharpe anytime soon, as he is still evaluating his many options. Upcoming visits to Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina are in the works.
“I am still pretty open, so I do not have any top schools or anything,” Sharpe said. “This is starting to get very tough for me. I want to narrow it down during my senior year and make my decision. How many official visits I take depends on if I really like a college or not when that time comes.”