NCF On The Trail: Aaron Sharp

Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

January, 20, 2014
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The first big official weekend of crunch time for the 2014 recruiting class came and went, and if the past 48 hours are any indication of what's to come in the Pac-12, this will be a very interesting ride to signing day.

Key recruiting visits -- Pac-12 

January, 17, 2014
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The recruiting dead period is over, and it's full speed ahead for a number of Pac-12 programs as coaches look to load up on official visitors over the next three weekends. A list of important official visitors for Pac-12 programs this weekend could easily extend to two or even three dozen names, so limiting it to just the top 10 was challenging -- though likely not as difficult as the task facing conference coaches looking to wrap up their recruiting classes as national signing day approaches.

1. CB Kweishi Brown (El Cajon, Calif./Grossmont College) visiting Arizona State. The ESPN Junior College 50 cornerback made an early commitment to Arkansas but pulled away from that as more Pac-12 programs expressed interest. Brown, the nation's No. 3 juco cornerback, will be at Arizona State as part of a huge group of official visitors and will be one of the main targets committed quarterback Manny Wilkins (Novato, Calif./San Marin) sets his sights on this weekend.


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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: Michigan State has never recruited top-10 classes but has produced on the field, but now more doors might open for it with the Rose Bowl victory; Kansas State’s loss is about to be UCLA’s gain; and it’s been a good few days for the Florida Gators’ 2014 class.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

September, 30, 2013
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Texas Tech continues to impress on the field and recruits are taking notice. The Red Raiders added some beef to their 2014 class and also offered one of the top 2015 defensive tackles in the state of Texas. We’ll take a look at those two players, how Kansas State’s future quarterback shined on Friday, and plenty more in this edition of the Big 12 weekend wrap.

Biggest commitment: That goes to Texas Tech and the verbal pledge it received from junior college defensive tackle Keland McElrath (Clarksdale, Miss./Coaoma Community College) on Tuesday. This is another piece to the puzzle for Kliff Kingsbury to better his chances of turning things around on defense, which will graduate three defensive linemen on its current two-deep. McElrath is the second DT to commit to the Red Raiders in 2014, along with Ivan Thomas (Lawton, OK/Lawton), the No. 65 DT overall. McElrath (6-foot-5, 290 pounds) also had offers from Kentucky, West Virginia and Western Kentucky. He is scheduled to take his official visit to Texas Tech on Nov. 9.

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When three-star quarterback Aaron Sharp (Houston/Summer Creek) announced Friday night he was committing to Utah, he was sincerely convinced his recruiting process was over.

But nearly 24 hours later, Sharp confirmed to ESPN.com he has had a change of heart. He's now officially committed to Kansas State.

"I just had to make a family decision," Sharp said. "It was really my mom who wasn’t on board with Utah. She wouldn’t be able to see me play and I'd be real far away. I had to go with K-State. She'd be able to see the majority of my away games because they play in Texas a lot. That was a big factor."

[+] EnlargeAaron Sharp
Max Olson/ESPNA day after Aaron Sharp committed to Utah, he changed his mind and picked Kansas State.
This wasn't a matter of Sharp immediately regretting his pledge to Utah, or even an issue of committing before he was ready. The 6-foot-3, 188-pound pocket-passer thought he'd made the right choice.

But not long after he'd made his pledge official around 9 p.m. Friday, Sharp realized his mother, Kewanna, wasn't happy.

"I don't think it hit her until later last night," he said. "At first, she was excited for me. But she slept on it and started having a hard time with it. I woke up early this morning and talked with my parents, and we decided this is what we're going to do."

Sharp admitted that when he made his decision on Friday night, Utah and Kansas State were essentially at a dead-even tie. What swayed him toward the Utes was the fact they were the first major school to offer him a scholarship.

After he and his parents reconvened on Saturday morning, Sharp said he felt the right thing to do was go with Kansas State and alleviate his family's concerns.

The toughest part, of course, was calling lead Utah recruiting Morgan Scalley and delivering the unexpected news.

"I could hear the disappointment in his voice," Sharp said. "But it's something I had to do. I felt bad about it. It was a hard thing that I had to do."

Sharp became commit No. 7 for Kansas State on Saturday and its only quarterback pledge. Three other members of that class also hail from the state of Texas.

The Wildcats are getting a pocket-passer who also happens to bring elite speed to the table. He threw for 2,954 yards and 38 touchdowns as a junior and rushed for only 180 yards and three touchdowns. Sharp won the 200-meter dash in Class 4A at the Texas track and field championships this spring with a time of 21.19 seconds.

The excitement of being a K-State pledge hasn't exactly set in yet for Sharp. It's been a long and difficult day.

"It was a tough way to become a Wildcat, but at the end of the day I’m blessed just to be in this situation," he said. "I’m ready to go out to Manhattan and take my game to the next level."

After the day Sharp has been through, this time he's definitely certain his recruiting process is done.

Utah lands Houston 3-star QB Sharp

June, 28, 2013
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Utah has landed its quarterback for 2014 in three-star prospect Aaron Sharp (Houston/Summer Creek).

The 6-foot-3, 188-pound quarterback chose the Utes over Kansas State and also held offers from Arizona State, Baylor, Colorado, Houston, Mississippi State, Toledo and UTEP. He becomes commit No. 7 for Utah's 2014 class.

"I just felt like they were really great for me," Sharp said. "I've got a real good relationship with all their coaches, and I went up there and visited and really liked the campus. I really think they have big things planned for me."

Sharp said Utah was really the first major school to offer him a scholarship, and he hasn't forgotten that. He also developed a good bond with Utah offensive coordinator Brian Johnson and is confident the former Utes star quarterback will bring out the best in him.

"They were telling me they're trying to get back to the spread and I definitely fit their offense," Sharp said. "I think they'll run me a little more than I do in high school, which I'm totally prepared for."

As a junior, the left-hander passed for 2,954 yards and 38 touchdowns. Sharp rushed for only 180 yards and three scores in 2012 but brings elite speed to the position, as evidenced by the 200-meter dash time of 21.19 seconds he ran to win 4A gold at the state track meet.

Several schools expressed interest in the state of Texas' No. 6 ranked pocket passer as an athlete. While Sharp entertained the possibility of playing receiver at the college level, throughout this process he's sought a school that believed in his passing talents.

"That was a big thing, what they were going to do with me if I went to their school," Sharp said. "That's why they were my top school."

Sharp visited Utah this spring and took his unofficial visit to Kansas State earlier this month. He also camped at Mississippi State before reaching this decision.

Sharp became the third Texan to commit to Utah this spring, joining three-star receivers Raelon Singleton (Crosby, Texas/Crosby) and Bobby Hartzog (Houston/Westside).

"I've talked to those two in the past couple weeks," Sharp said. "We've been talking about what they like about Utah. Ultimately I just thought Utah was the best fit for me."

The decision was a difficult one in the end. Sharp admitted he was still going back and forth between Utah and Kansas State throughout the day, but now that it's official there's no looking back. He plans to shut down his recruiting process and stick with the Utes.

"It was a mind-blowing process and it got real nervewracking at the end," Sharp said. "It was a hard decision. But this whole experience has been a blast, and this was one of the best things that's happened to me so far in my life."
Every Wednesday, HornsNation will take a look at Texas' week in recruiting in Tales From The Road.

This week’s targets: It was all about Texas’ mini camp on June 2 for the Longhorns coaching staff. With over 300 campers on campus, they more than had their hands full. Texas kept a close eye on several prospects, including Edwin Freeman (Arlington, Texas/Bowie), Arrion Springs (San Antonio/Roosevelt), Jarrett Stidham (Stephenville, Texas/Stephenville), Jordan Davis (Houston/Clear Lake), Anthony Jones (New Orleans/Edna Karr) and Aaron Sharp (Houston/Summer Creek).


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