Glenn Sharpe has worked very hard to get back to where he is now.
The Hurricanes will have their annual spring game today at 10:00 a.m. in the Orange Bowl. Although Sharpe, who has been guarded throughout the spring, isn't expected to play he has felt right at home this spring.
"It wasn't tough being back in the spring because when I was preparing to come back I was working so hard," Sharpe said. "Last year I was still going into meetings and getting my mental game up. I wasn't able to spring or cut, but I was still able to work on my footwork with my steps. When I came back I felt right at home."
Sharpe has been held out of tackling this spring, but participates in everything else.
"I feel like I can tackle, but they are the coaches and they know what is best for me," said Sharpe. "So I'm just taking it easy."
Although Glenn has been the one going through the rehab work to get back playing football at a high level, it is the people surrounding him that have helped him make a comeback.
"It has been depressing and I have had my down time," Glenn said of his tough luck with injuries. "But luckily I got friends and family who love me very much. Also, my coaches who have kept saying positive things to me and motivated me. That is how I got through it."
Sharpe suffered his first torn ACL November 2003. He was expected to be ready for the 2004 season, but he shut it down after two games because he didn't feel 100 percent.
Then he suffered his second torn ACL, this time in his right knee, in July 2005 causing him to miss the entire season.
The second injury was "easier" because he had already been through it before, but according to Glenn, "The mental aspect was real hard. I felt like 'is this really for me?'. I tried my best to do everything right and I kept getting hurt so I questioned whether this sport was right for me."
After evaluating his situation he realized that he still has a "pretty good opportunity" of playing in the NFL thus making a lot of money.
"My mindset was that I was just going to ride this thing until the wheels fall off. I also looked at it like God is challenging me to see if I really want it."
Sharpe is listed as a redshirt junior as he enters the 2006 season although this his fifth year as a Hurricane. But since he is expected to be awarded a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, he is listed by UM as a junior.
There is no question that he expects big things for himself in '06.
"I have been hurt the last two seasons so I am looking to have a big year this year," said Sharpe. "I got the skills, I got the talent, I'm smarter, I feel bigger, stronger, and faster. So basically I am expecting to make a big impact."
Sharpe, who wore jersey number one at Carol City HS, has been wearing the number 31 since arriving to Coral Gables.
This spring Sharpe changed his number to four, but not because he felt 31 was bad luck. He always wanted a single digit and after the departure of Devin Hester (early NFL Draft entry) and Greg Threat (graduation), there were two single digits open, number four and five.
Glenn picked number because running back Charlie Jones talked about getting number five, his high school number.
With Sharpe expected to be the team's starting left cornerback, three sophomores Carlos Armour, Randy Phillips, and Bruce Johnson are competing for the starting right cornerback posiiton along with junior Rashaun Jones.
Glenn likes what he sees from the guys competing for the position.
"The talent is there, without question. I just think they have to work on their mental toughness because some guys will make a good play on one play, but then the next play they will slack off. They just have to get it in their heads that this is the next level and they really don't have time to rest or take a play off. I had to learn that too when I was young."
"I feel like we are going to be strong in the secondary," Sharpe said. "We just have to get a little bit more chemistry and gel on and off the field. All in all, I believe the secondary is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
Sharpe is currently 6-foot-1 and weighs 185 pounds, but would like to play at 190 this fall. In 2002, when Sharpe was a full-time player, he weighed 170 pounds and was an inch shorter.
Hurricane coaches, players, and fans will like to hear this as Sharpe concludes with how he currently feels with his current state of ability.
"I really don't feel like I have missed a beat," Sharpe said. "I still feel quick and I still feel fast."
Christopher Stock can be reached at email@example.com