'Canes Closing in on Commitment?

Not long ago a young linebacker named Jonathan Vilma committed to the Hurricanes after a tremendous prep career at Coral Gables High. Now a current linebacker at that school is drawing those comparisons.

"A lot of people tell me I'm a lot like Vilma," said Darryl Sharpton. "A lot of people say that the way we play is very similar."

Sharpton, 6-0 and 210 pounds, was a tackling maching this season as he registered over 120 tackles in just nine games. It's his instincts and ability to find the football that make him different.

"I just have the speed and the instincts to get to the ball in a hurry," he said. "I can break things down pretty well and everything like that."

Sharpton, who carries a 4.0+ GPA and an 1180 SAT score, is now getting ready for track season where he'll compete in the 200m and 400m events. In the meantime, things are starting to heat up on the recruiting front.

"A lot's been happening," he said. "Miami saw my tape I guess and they started talking to me a lot more late in my season. Then Tuesday before Thanksgiving they called my coach and said they're gonna be offering a scholarship. I went to Coach Coker's office on Wednesday and found out it was true. I was real excited because that's the one offer I wanted most."

The talented linebacker prospect also has offers from Stanford and UMass.

"It was pretty much between Miami and Stanford and I was actually supposed to go out there for a visit this past weekend but because of their coaching situation I didn't go," he said. "I went to the Miami/Virginia Tech game instead."

Sharpton said the Hurricanes have a big lead at this point and that's not about to change.

"They're local and just the fact that they're always considered one of the top teams is what interests me," he said. "They have a good undergraduate business school and that's a big thing to me as well. I like the coaches and players and everything too. Besides, I've just always wanted to be a Hurricane."

Could a commitment be on the horizon?

"I dont know when I'll make a final decision but it should be soon," he said. "Miami looks real good right now. Coach Hargreaves is coming to my house on Thursday so I'll talk about my visit and everything with him. I'm just real happy they offered me."

Sharpton has been following the Hurricanes closely this season and believes they will recover from a down year.

"They're having a hard time because of some different things like being young and inexperienced and having to replace some guys that left for the NFL," he said. "But they're Miami and they'll bounce back."

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