Surrounded by proud family and friends, it was hard for Darryl Sharpton to describe how excited he is.
"I feel like it is Christmas," Sharpton said. "I am just happy to be a part of the University of Miami and make it official today. Now I am trying to take some steps to becoming a better football player. I am going to work real hard in track and in the weight room. I am just real happy to be a Miami Hurricane."
Sharpton has been a verbal commitment to Miami ever since Thanksgiving, but now his signing is finally a reality.
"I got offers before Thanksgiving," Sharpton said. "My family and I were eating our meal and we decided that Miami was the school for me. I talked to Coach Coker twice a week since I made the decision. I am happy to be there and I am going to start working out there as soon as possible.
"I grew up in Miami and have been here as a kid. Miami has always been the school. I had some other options, Stanford and Boston College. It wasn't too hard to make a decision growing up here in Miami."
Coral Gables Head Coach Joe Montoya was extremely proud for his player. When asked about what kind of player Sharpton is, Montoya was at no shortage of words on what Darryl brings to the table.
"Laterally he can run," coach Montoya said. "He has a knack to find the ball and just goes. Miami is going to get a kid that is a hard working young man. A kid that is going to be dedicated. A yes sir, no sir kind of attitude. He is going to work hard for coach Shannon and the defensive staff. He is a kid they will be able to count on."
"He is going to do anything they want on that field. He is not going to give them a problem in any way with academics or out there on the street. He is the type of kid UM will be able to build on and if there is going to be any success there, he is going to be a part of it."
When asked of what player Sharpton reminds him of, Montoya named another Coral Gables and UM standout.
"As a player he is like a Jonathan Vilma," Montoya said. "Vilma is one of a kind and Daryl is going to be one of those kids that is going to succeed and do well on the field and off."
While the comparisons are flattering, Sharpton wants to create his own legacy.
"It is nice to be mentioned with him," Sharpton said. "He is on the Jets now and is a great linebacker. I really aspire to do some of the things that he did. I cannot be Jonathon Vilma, but I can be Darryl Sharpton, so I am going to do that."
This day will always be a day Sharpton remembers. Just like former Coral Gables standouts, Jonathon Vilma and Frank Gore, Sharpton bleeds orange and green.
"I always knew I wanted to be a ‘Cane," Sharpton said. "I fell like this is a transition from one level to another level."
Darryl Sharpton on Signing Day
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