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Ranking the Contenders: Rivals250 CB Sharif Denson top-five

Sharif Denson announces his top-five schools
Sharif Denson announces his top-five schools (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Lost in the era of big corners, there is still a premium on players that can lockdown a side of the field. At Jacksonville’s (Fla.) Bartram Trail, Sharif Denson has created the kind of island college defensive coordinators love to see. Those skills are now lining up with one of five schools.

Nearing the 40-offer mark, Denson produced his top-five schools on Monday… we rank the contenders.

Florida: The momentum being built behind the scenes with new head coach Billy Napier and his staff is turning heads. Recruiting wise, the state of Florida has been up for grabs, but the Gators are constructing the fence keeping kids at home. In favor of the Gators, proximity to home and cornerbacks’ coach Corey Raymond. We can’t overlook a quote from Denson on Twitter when sharing a picture of himself in the Gators’ uniform, “Look like I belong in this.”

Ohio State: The Buckeyes are the biggest outside challenger to all state of Florida schools in the 2023 cycle. Ohio State is either the leader on the private board or a really tight second. Denson visited the Buckeyes in early January and returned on April 1. Coach Ryan Day and his staff have done a great job putting the Buckeyes in contention for another one of the nation’s best. The extra potential nod for Ohio State, many of Denson’s South Florida Express 7-on-7 teammates are high on the Buckeyes.

Texas A&M: The excitement the Aggies built after landing the top-rated 2022 class is still making waves. Denson picked up his offer from A&M in mid-February making a late-March trek to College Station. After the visit, Denson shared, “Had a great time this weekend at Texas A&M definitely will be back in College Station soon.” Unlike the other two SEC teams on the list, A&M offers a chance to play in the West against Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU and the likes each season for three to four years.

Florida State: Another opportunity to stay close to home, the Seminoles have Denson’s attention and have for a long time. Denson camped with the Seminoles last summer returning a month later for a visit. Coach Mike Norvell and his staff brought Denson back in March for a Junior Day event. Co-defensive coordinator Adam Fuller and defensive backs coach Marcus Woodson have built a reputation for being great at recruiting in-state kids. On the list, how it goes from here is up to the Seminoles’ coaching staff.

South Carolina: Head coach Shane Beamer and his coaching staff are doing something right, because they keep popping up on elite prospect’s top schools list. The tough transition will be moving from loved to beloved. The Gamecocks hosted Denson in mid-January and have kept contact building a rapport to get on the list.