A night before he shows up on campus to big David Sharpe has everything running through his mind about what is ahead for him. The Jacksonville native knows everything is about to be very different in his life.
"It's crazy," Sharpe said Monday. "It's a whole new world and I am a little nervous about it, but I'm ready to get it started. It's a change of a lifetime for me, just a whole new change on life. It's a different atmosphere. Everything is going to change in the next couple of weeks."
Sharpe was a big time player in high school and so his weight has stayed down so he can run up and down the hardwood floor. He now is as big as he has ever been having grown vertically and a bit more stout. At 6-foot-7.5 and 325 pounds, he is one substantial human being.
"I've been working on my strength and running a little bit and working on my technique a little bit at times," he said before commenting on the extra weight. "Everything is fine I'm probably not in game shape, but I will get there fast."
As a prospect, Sharpe constantly talked about playing as a freshman. It was something that played a big part in picking the Gators because the depth chart was very favorable with Florida's lack of numbers. That concept has changed a bit for Sharpe who has come to understand that playing as a freshman is not always in the cards, even for the best of linemen.
"This year for me, I just want it to be a strength year," he said. "I want to get my body right and help out any way I can. I am just a freshman so I'm not worried about playing time. I need to get used to the speed of the game and get rid of the butterflies that come with it being new."
Sharpe has been keeping up with some of his fellow signees and also junior offensive tackle D.J. Humphries who came into Florida highly touted and did play a lot as a freshman. Still, Humphries has warned him that there is a lot going on when you get to college.
"D.J. Humphries and I talk all the time and a couple of other guys in the class like Khairi Clark and Will Grier too," Sharpe said. "D.J. says that I need to come in and be ready to work. I need to stay focused. There are a lot of things that can throw you off track quick. I need to learn the play book and work my books."
In the end, Sharpe wants Gator fans to feel like he is one of them. He may be a little bit bigger, maybe with the ability to perform at a high level in front of 95,000 people, but a normal guy that wants to excel while on campus.
"They will see that I'm a real person," Sharpe said. "I'm going to be a down to earth person and not going to change who I am. They can come and talk to me any time. But, I want to be one of the best linemen to leave Florida. In the next couple of years I want to make a big impact at Florida."