The Florida Gators don’t return much in the way of experience along the offense line in 2015. Florida is tasked with replacing Trenton Brown, Max Garcia, Tyler Moore, D.J. Humphries and Chaz Green on the line and only Trip Thurman and David Sharpe have real playing experience.
Continuing our look at the sophomore class, David Sharpe will be the focus as he tries to avoid the sophomore slumps that Humphries and Xavier Nixon suffered before him.
Sharpe saw action in six games as a freshman, including extensive playing time against Alabama in Tuscaloosa. He played left tackle and was also used as the sixth offensive lineman in jumbo sets. Sharpe will be tasked with protecting the quarterback’s blindside this year as the starting left tackle.
Sharpe had an up and down spring. At 6-6, 350-pounds, he has added a ton of size since enrolling at Florida. The negative of that added weight can be seen when Sharpe goes up against smaller, quicker defensive ends and linebackers. Sharpe struggled the most in the spring against guys like Alex McCalister and Daniel McMillian; guys who can use their speed to get around Sharpe once, then set him up with a swim or spin move to beat him inside later.
However, that size has helped him tremendously in the run game. There isn’t a defensive lineman on his team that Sharpe couldn’t block man-to-man and there are some very good defensive linemen for him to test himself against in practice.
Sharpe flashed in the spring and continues to look like a player who is very coachable. When he would get beat in a drill, Sharpe would take the coaching, make an adjustment and come back better. Florida will need the sophomore to be the leader and anchor of an offensive line that will be young, inexperienced and working on building a rapport and chemistry after adding a couple of transfers.
Sharpe has a lot of upside; he’s still learning the game and the finer techniques, but he is the best offensive lineman that Florida will have in 2015 and one that they will depend on throughout the season.