With both of those players set to graduate after the season, Bobby Petrino and staff will be looking to add some talented prospects in the secondary to replace Gay, a starting cornerback and Sharp, a starting safety.
To find replacements for both players, Petrino might look to Trinity Valley C.C., where Arseel Shakoor and Nevin McKenzie patrol the defensive backfield for coach Mark Sartain.
McKenzie, a 6'2, 200 pound safety from San Antonio, Texas, has 50-60 tackles through six games this season and is a big hitter in the secondary. Shakoor, a speedy 6'0, 195 pound cornerback who can also play safety, has three interceptions this season, though opposing offenses have virtually stopped throwing the ball to his side of the field.
"They're both very gifted athletes," Sartain said. "Nevin is in the mold of former Denver Broncos star Steve Atwater. He's a violently aggressive tackler and a very physical free safety, but he's talented enough to play corner."
"Arseel is a big, physical corner, who can also play safety," Sartain added. "They both run 4.4 forties."
Louisville, Arizona, Houston and Tennessee are involved with Sartain's talented duo. The Cardinals offered both players scholarships last spring and that's got Petrino's program right in the mix for both standouts signatures next February.
"Louisville is probably at the top of Arseel's list right now," Sartain said. "Nevin has always liked Louisville for some reason, too. He's originally from New Jersey and that would put him a little closer to home. At this point, any school with a need for defensive backs has shown interest in both of them."
Both Shakoor and McKenzie are scheduled to graduate next May, so there's no hurry for the pair to set up official visits this fall.
"They won't be taking any visits until the last week of October when we have a bye-week," Sartain said. "They'll both graduate next spring, so they could take visits all the way until late January if they want."
Sartain said he expects both of his standout defenders to make it academically.