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Friday, March 1, 2013
Watch List OT switches gears to football

By Radi Nabulsi

Junior offensive tackle David Sharpe has not been thinking about football lately. Leading up to Thursday night’s Florida Class AAA basketball championship between his Providence High School Stallions and the Coral Springs Christian Crusaders, the talented two-sport athlete has let his coach field all of his football recruiting calls. And there have been a lot of them.

Will Muschamp of Florida called to offer Sharpe a scholarship. Florida State, Georgia, Virginia Tech and many more have all called wanting to speak to Sharpe. But the 6-foot-7 center was focused on winning a state title. Last night Sharpe celebrated a 62-56 victory.

And now he will switch gears and deal with a backlog of calls.

“I didn’t want to inundate him during our playoff run,” said Bobby Raulerson, Sharpe’s football coach. “So really I’ve only sent his highlight video out to the ACC schools, and by doing that he’s gotten offers from UNC, Duke, Georgia Tech and Florida State. The other offers from Florida and Liberty just came off of them getting his video through other means.”

Sharpe’s highlight reel is getting around.

“Will Friend from Georgia called, and I told him to speak with David at the end of the week or maybe early next week,” Raulerson said. “He said he was going to show Mark Richt the film and get his approval on an offer. He didn’t seem to think there would be any hold up. I talked to Coach Muschamp last week. Kentucky called yesterday. UCF called.”

What they are seeing is a big man who can move, unlike some of the other guys Sharpe’s size who tend to lumber around the field.

“He is 6-7 and weighs about 275 pounds yet he moves like a point guard,” Raulerson said. “I mean, he’s just got freakish agility and freakish ability. Quickness-wise it’s just almost unbelievable to watch him move on the basketball court; he’s so fluid and smooth he doesn’t typically look like a guy that big could move that well. We have Tony Boselli, who’s an offensive line coach on our staff, and he has already said that if David will commit himself to football and work as hard as he can, in another four or five years he’s going to have the opportunity to play a bunch of Sundays.”

Boselli knows talent after his seven years in the NFL. So does Florida State offensive line coach Rick Trickett.

“I talked to Coach Trickett and he said, ‘You know I’ve looked at a lot of guys just in the last month from California all the way to the east coast and none of them have the potential that David has,’ ” Raulerson said. “And he said, ‘Now I’ve seen some better football players,” because this past season was only David’s second year playing. He played his ninth grade year at University Christian, sat out his sophomore year at Englewood, and then transferred in here and played this year.”

A relative newcomer to the sport, Sharpe is sure to be asked if he sees his future on the football field or on the basketball court.

“It’s an interesting question because his ceiling in football is considerably higher than it is in basketball,” Raulerson said. “And that’s not taking anything away from him; David’s a very good player. But I think the choice he’s going to be faced with ultimately is, ‘Do I want to go play basketball at a Marshall, Toledo or Ohio University type of school, or do I want to go play football at Florida, FSU or Georgia?’ Now, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could potentially play both. Florida State -- Jeremy Pruitt -- had actually told me on Friday that if David wanted to do both they would allow him to do so, and the basketball team there is aware of who David is.”

So now that basketball season is over, Sharpe can start focusing on spring practice and year three of his fledgling football career.

“It wouldn’t shock me if, wherever he winds up, they potentially look at him as a tight end just because he moves so well and he can catch everything,” Raulerson said. “He’s probably a 4.8 guy in the 40, so there’s a chance that that could happen, but right now he’s a tackle, and he’s a pretty good one.”