Florida Gators A "Slam Dunk" for 5-Star OT David Sharpe?

By Patrick Schmidt
Florida Gators
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The nation’s number-two ranked offensive tackle and top 10 recruit David Sharpe (Jacksonville, Fla. Providence) is the top prospect in the Sunshine State and has the opportunity to play football and basketball in college. He is considered a Florida lean for football. After meeting Gator’s basketball coach Billy Donovan during his Wednesday visit to Gainesville, he should be viewed as a slam-dunk to play both sports for Florida.

Sharpe tells Luke Stampini of GatorBait, “It was just to sit down and meet him,” Sharpe said of his conversation with Donovan. “He said it was fine to play both [sports] at Florida and I have a spot on the team and I can play basketball also.”

That represents a win-win scenario for Sharpe who will be able to stay in his home state, play for an SEC super power in football and basketball, and it won’t count as a scholarship for Donovan’s club. Basketball scholarships are precious and the fact he will not count against the Gator’s total won’t hamstring them to add top recruits. Sharpe was a standout low post performer for the class 3A state champions in high school.

However, his best sport is football as evidenced by his five-star and top-10 ranking. The 6-foot-6, 288-pound tackle is also pursued by Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. However, I think this recent basketball decision at Florida puts the Gators well out in front of the rest of the suitors.

Last month, I had Georgia as the biggest threat to Florida because they made it clear that Sharpe could play basketball and I had reservations about the Gators allowing that to happen. The Bulldogs have a phenomenal football team but the basketball program isn’t as dominant as their football counterparts and that undoubtedly will play into the decision of Sharpe.

With a commitment from running back Dalvin Cook (Miami, Fla. Miami Central), Florida’s number-two recruit, and number-three quarterback recruit Will Grier (Davidson, N.C. Davidson Day) the two offensive skill players are hoping to get their personal protector to come to Gainesville — as is Florida head coach Will Muschamp.

My prediction: Sharpe is calling “The Swamp” home in 2014.

Patrick’s a college football writer for Rant Sports and radio host on Sportstownchicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt and add him to your Google network.


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