David Sharpe (Jacksonville, Fla. Providence), the nation’s No. 2 offensive tackle according to ESPN and 247Sports, proclaimed he is “pretty open” according to DawgNation.com’s Kipp Adams after a May 18 visit to Georgia.
This quote would counter the popular opinion that Florida is the overwhelming favorite to land the top recruit in the Sunshine State and the No. 10 player overall player according to 247Sports. The 12 predictions for the 6-foot-6, 288-pound tackle on the site for where Sharpe will play in college are all in favor of the Gators. Sharpe has visited Gainesville three times since Mar. 16, including taking in the Gators spring game that was later changed to a practice because of injury concerns.
Sharpe reportedly has a special relationship with Florida head coach Will Muschamp and along with the lure of the SEC and staying in state is why I agree that Florida is well out in front for Sharpe. However, that opinion could change based on what Georgia is offering the two-sport athlete who also doubles as a prominent basketball player for the Class 3A Champions.
“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 told Adams.
The Bulldogs basketball program is nowhere near the program that the Gators have become under Billy Donovan and if it meant securing a commitment from him to play football they would also allow him to play basketball. The same can’t likely be said at Florida who has different levels of expectations for their program that finished last year one win shy of the final four.
Naturally, other schools will enter the picture for Sharpe such as Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina and South Carolina, all of whom have hosted Sharpe or will host him in the coming months. However, I think this comes down to a two-team race between the two teams who play their rivalry game in Sharpe’s hometown of Jacksonville. Perhaps the winner of the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” will secure his commitment because he’s not going to commit until signing day it appears.
My prediction is that if Sharpe is fine with playing only football at the next level, his decision will be Florida. But if he wants to continue playing basketball, Sharpe will play between the hedges for Georgia in 2014.