RB Sharpe next for Louisville?

Louisville coach Charlie Strong already has eleven 2011 verbal commitments, the latest from John Wallace and Deiontrez Mount last week. Strong's Cardinals might be close to landing another commitment. Will Griffen (GA) Spaulding running back Zay Sharpe make it a dozen for Louisville?

Charlie Strong's 2011 recruiting class is off to an impressive start.

Though he hasn't coached a game at Louisville, the Cardinals first-year coach already has 11 verbal commitments in the fold, the latest from Central Hardin kicker John Wallace and Florida defensive end Deiontrez Mount last week.

Zay Sharpe, a powerful running back from Griffen (GA) Spaulding, might be the next player to add his name to Louisville's commitment list. Sharpe, who holds offers from the Cards and Georgia Southern, and also is receiving strong interest from North Carolina, is expected to announce his college decision this month.

Sharpe could commit to Louisville soon.
"I think he's leaning strongly towards Louisville," Spaulding coach Clint Ashmore said. "I would expect a [decision] before May is over with, and maybe even before we start spring practice. I would expect a verbal from him before school is out and I would think Louisville is out in front for that at this point."

Sharpe, who is being recruited by Louisville running back coach Kenny Carter, visited Louisville last month and attended the Cardinals spring game. It was the only visit he made this spring.

"He was impressed with the facilities," Ashmore said. "Coach Carter, who is recruiting him, has made a strong impression on Zay. That's the first trip he's made and he really liked it. Louisville is on him pretty strong."

Sharpe appears to be the big running back Louisville is looking for, especially with Bilal Powell set to graduate after next season. The Cardinals have plenty of scat-back types with Victor Anderson and Jeremy Wright, but need someone like Sharpe who can pound defenses with power and strength.

"One of the things that is a concern for Louisville is they have some smaller scat-back type guys and they're looking for a big body," Ashmore said. "He's a good pass protector and pass receiver. So he can match up with most guys that bring the edge pressure, defensive ends and outside linebackers."

Sharpe, who had a 69-yard touchdown run as a junior, also runs track.

"We're predominantly a passing team so we're one-back and, for the most part, Zay handles most of the running chores," Ashmore said. "The thing that makes him attractive is he's a big body. He's 6'2, 210 and is in the 4.5 range in the forty. He's got the ability to make guys miss and he can beat guys with speed but he's not a water-bug type with a lot of shake. He gets downhill fast, makes his cut and he's up in the second level."

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