Salina (Kan.) Central running back Jake Sharp is one of the Sunflower State's top prospects for the 2006 class. He was the only junior named to Elite Eleven squads by various newspapers around the state and he has the statistics from one of the state's top programs to back up the publicity he is already receiving.
As a sophomore, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Sharp rushed for 960 yards and 18 touchdowns. Then in 2004, he topped that mark with 2,330 yards and 33 scores on the ground.
"Jake is just a great kid," Central coach Marvin Diener said. "He's one that every coach likes to have be part of your program. He's always giving 100 percent on the field in practice and during games. On the field, he is a real head turner. You don't watch a game and not notice him. He just does everything you ask of him."
Sharp has excelled at running back the past two seasons for the Mustangs and colleges are doing what they can to get him into their camps at the position.
"Schools are recruiting him as a running back," Diener said. "That is what he is and that is what he wants to play. He has the speed and the size to do it. He's continually adding more strength to his frame. And his speed doesn't take a back seat to anyone we've had here in our program and that includes guys like Terence Newman and Donnie Anders who were really fast guys who went on to play at Kansas State."
As a sophomore, Sharp recorded a 10.5 second mark in the 100-meter dash at one track meet, a time he hopes to top this year.
"Jake's working on his speed still and I think he can break 10, if he keeps after it and works hard. If he puts his mind to it, he can do it."
Schools already showing interest in Sharp include many from this region and many from surrounding areas.
"He has gotten a lot of mail already," Diener said. "All of the Big 12 schools have contacted us for film and more information. Kansas State, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Missouri come to mind immediately. Then schools like Alabama, TCU and Colorado State are getting their names in here, too.
"It's a long ways off for him to sign, but schools are getting started early on him. He's a good one and schools are going to recruit him hard."