Last season Glenn Sharpe played in only the first two games before he shut it down for the year. The 2004 season was supposed to be his junior year, but since he received a medical redshirt he will be a junior in 2005.
"I am going to take advantage of the extra year," Sharpe said. "I will listen to my coaches and make plays this year. I am on a mission."
Sharpe is well on his mission. Today at practice he made a nice interception on a deep pass by Kirby Freeman to Rasheed Ali along the sideline. At 5-foot-11 and 181 pounds, Sharpe showed good footwork, speed, and positioning in containing the 5-foot-6 Ali.
"It felt good," Sharpe said. "I have been out for a long time and I am just trying to make plays out there to try to get back on the field again. I felt pretty good out there today. I was a little winded, but not as much as I thought I would be."
The interception by Sharpe was just one of many great plays by the defense at practice. The team returned from 11 days off and the offense was very rusty.
"Today the defense had a better day than the offense," Sharpe said. "I felt like everyone on the team gave great effort today."
So far his knee feels great and thinks it will hold up for the season.
"My injury is coming along pretty good," Sharpe said. "Right now I don't feel anything. When I was running I didn't feel anything and I felt fast."
He has always been known for his speed on the field and although he has had troubles with his knee, he doesn't feel like he loses his speed or quickness.
"Personally I don't feel like I lose a lot when I get injured," Sharpe said. "I feel like I still have the skills, but I just have to get the timing back down. I feel that my speed and quickness never leaves me once I get into rehab. I just have to get my timing and rhythm down."
It has been a long time since Sharpe has been healthy and the rehab process can wear on anyone. He had to stay mentally strong throughout the long, tough days to get where he wanted to be.
"It was very frustrating," Sharpe said. "I had to constantly motivate myself. We have a lot of talented guys out here and watching them made me think to myself that I really have to get back on the field."
Sharpe has a great deal of respect for his teammates, which made it a hard decision to redshirt last season. He wanted to be out there for his teammates, but he had to make a decision that best suited himself and his health.
"I wanted to be out there for my teammates," Sharpe said. "But I felt that if I stayed out there I could risk the chance of hurting myself even worse. I owed the team and myself more than that."
It was during the season opener against Florida State that he noticed he was having troubles with his knee.
"During the first game against Florida State my knee was real tight," Sharpe said. "It was real sore and at halftime I couldn't even sit down. I had to keep walking around because if I sat down it would get real stiff. I was just thinking to myself that it was not a situation I wanted to put myself in."
Sharpe is competing for playing time in the secondary with seniors Kelly Jennings and Marcus Maxey along with juniors Devin Hester and Brandon Meriweather.
"Our secondary is very strong," Sharpe said. "We have a lot of guys with a lot of experience. The guys also have a good knowledge of the game, which helps us connect better on the field."
Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharpe is on a Mission
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