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Wednesday, April 24, 2013
David Sharpe's quick rise to the top

By Derek Tyson

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- ESPN 150 offensive tackle David Sharpe (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence School) has only played one full year of high school football, but the 6-foot-6, 288-pound athlete has already caught the attention of everyone in the college football recruiting world.

The No. 2-ranked tackle and No. 12 player overall said his football success has come as a surprise.

"I'm shocked,"  Sharpe said. "I didn't realize that after only one full year of actually playing football that I would be the No. 12-ranked player in the country and No. 2 at my position. It's been crazy."

Providence head coach Bobby Raulerson believes his star tackle is in the beginning stages of becoming a special player.

"I think David is just scratching the surface as far as what kind of player he can be," Raulerson said. "A lot of his ability is just God-given. I think the ceiling for David is so high that he doesn't even realize just how good he can be.

"He has to develop in the weight room, which he's committed to doing, then continue to study and continue to do the things that separate the good from the great and the great from the extraordinary. I think David realizes that if he commits to those things, which I think he will, then the sky is the limit for him."

Recruiting has skyrocketed over the last few months. A host of schools including Florida, Ole Miss, Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State and Miami have offered a scholarship. The spring evalution period has begun, and Sharpe was visited by Ole Miss offensive line coach Matt Luke on Monday and Florida State defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt on Tuesday.

"Coach Luke from Ole Miss came by yesterday," Sharpe said. He showed me a video and they look like they have a great program, and I want to go visit. It looks like they have some nice coaches and players. It's a great college."

Pruitt has had success recruiting the Jacksonville area. Last year Pruitt was instrumental in helping FSU land four-star defensive end DeMarcus Walker and this year he has helped secure a commitment from ESPN 150 linebacker Kain Daub already. Sharpe said he is building a nice relationship with the Florida State coordinator.

"Coach Pruitt, he's a great guy," Sharpe sad. "I'm comfortable with him. He's a funny, great guy. We have a great relationship. He makes me feel comfortable."

Sharpe has been to visit another in-state school, Florida, a few times already and he said he already has a comfort level with the Florida staff, including Florida offensive line coach Tim Davis.

"It's a great school," Sharpe said. "I'm comfortable with them and their coaches and coach [Will] Muschamp. Coach Davis is a great coach. He gives it to you how you need it and he tells you how it is pretty much. He's helped me learn something new every time I talk to him."

Sharpe is in the beginning stages of his football career, but he has also had success on the hardwood as well. As a junior, Sharpe averaged 17 points and nine rebounds per game for the Stallions and has already recieved basketball offers from North Florida and Jacksonville.

Though no major schools have offered him a basketball scholarship, schools such as Florida, FSU, Georgia, UNC and Alabama have told Sharpe he could play basketball in addition to football in college. Sharpe does want to play both sports in college and he admits basketball could play a role in his decision.

"I don't really care how far the school is," he said. "I just want to go somewhere where I'll fit in for my four years. Somewhere where I can fit in and do both basketball and football. Somewhere where I can get a great education, and I'm comfortable and where I get along with the coaches and everyone else."

The All-American has no favorites at this time but said there are schools that seem to be recruiting him harder than others.

"Ohio State, Florida, Florida State, North Carolina and Alabama are recruiting me the hardest," Sharpe said. "Georgia, too. I like Georgia. I haven't been there yet, but I know they have a great program. I've talked to coach [Mark] Richt on the phone. They are a good school. He said I could play basketball, too."

Sharpe is planning to take all five official visits before selecting a school. Raulerson said Sharpe's relationships with the coaching staff's will be the biggest factor when he finally makes a decision.

"Without a doubt, its about the relationships with David," Raulerson said. "He's the kind of young man that he has to have trust in the people that he's going to be around for the next three, four, five years, or whatever it ends up being. We tell him all the time that all the schools are going to have the nice facilities, pretty good academics and all those things are relatively equal, but it's the people you are going to surround yourself with that you have to have that comfort level with, and I think that can only be gained by spendng time with him and earning that trust."