Florida football recruiting: Gators land offensive tackle David Sharpe

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Florida's 2014 recruiting class gained a very important commitment on Thursday from one of the nation's top offensive tackles.

Hulking offensive tackle David Sharpe of Providence Prep in Jacksonville committed to Florida on Thursday, providing some much-needed bulk and future depth on the line.

Actually, he committed to "the University of Gainesville."

I'm gonna give him the benefit of the doubt, and hope he was just getting caught between saying "the University of Florida" and "taking my talents to Gainesville." (I have to do this for my sanity.)

Sharpe is an interesting prospect who has played both basketball and football, leading some teams to question his commitment to football, and slow play their recruitment of him. But, justifiably, Will Muschamp and the Gators couldn't afford to pass up the 6'6", 288-pound Duvalien.

He might have a chance to play sooner rather than later, something that has been a consistent theme in Sharpe's recruitment. Let's be frank: In 2013, the Florida offensive line was a disaster, and it infected the rest of the offense, and team, in the most negative of ways. Sharpe's size is attractive, and nearly SEC-ready as is, but I expect Jeff Dillman and the Florida strength program to put at least 10-15 pounds on that 6'6" frame. And if he can do that, and shore up his technique and footwork in the college ranks, something Sharpe's basketball experience may allow him to do, he could see the field rather quickly.

Bud Elliott thinks a lot like I do:

Sharpe is an incredibly intriguing and athletic prospect. Some believe he is the second-best tackle in the country, while others have questions. I think his physical skills are undeniable. He is a bit raw, and I don't think he is the instant-impact type that a Cameron Robinson is. But in time, he could be a very high NFL draft pick. 

The questions I have about Sharpe mostly relate to his other sport -- basketball. Sharpe wants to continue to play hoops in college. That would be fine at some positions, but offensive tackle really is not one of them. The amount of cardiovascular work required to be an effective basketball player, particularly at one the caliber of Florida, is not conducive to maintaining a weight north of 300 pounds, which is required to play left tackle in the SEC. Sharpe will be on a football scholarship, so I suspect this gets worked out in time. The quicker he commits to being just a football player, the better

Besides Florida, Sharpe had offers from Florida State, Clemson, Georgia, Miami, Ohio State, and USC among others. If Sharpe shows a dedication and passion for football, and proves his doubters wrong both physically and mentally, I think Sharpe can be a rotational contributor in year one. He is Florida's 17th commitment in the 2014 class, and fourth offensive lineman, joining guards Dontae Angus, Tavaris Dorsey and Nolan Kelleher.

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