Sharpe goes from training camp bubble to star
KISSIMMEE, FL-- When he entered training camp, Paul Sharpe had no idea if he would be playing for the Osceola GhostRiders, let alone starting for them and playing every down.
One stellar performance later, and months worth of preparation and dedication have finally begun to pay off for the rookie from Florida A&M.
"He's a guy we almost passed on," said GhostRiders head coach Marquette Smith. "But, he was persistent to us. He called us back and we thought that he could be someone special. He has great vision and great speed for a guy who's 235 pounds."
What he also features is raw power. Sharpe runs downhill at the defenders, challenging them to either make a tackle or prepare to be run over.
"I've learned to follow behind the offensive line by learning our schemes early," said Sharpe, who tied a team record on opening night with four touchdown runs. "They look for guys who can block and catch out of the backfield. Rather than concentrating on my strengths, I have been strengthening my weaknesses."
His teammates have given Sharpe their utmost praise, considering him a prominent figure in the locker room.
"Most importantly, he's just a great person, always giving credit to the offensive line," said offensive lineman David Aubrey. "He's very disciplined and works hard in practice. It's fun to block for a guy like Paul."
Sharpe proves his respect towards his big guys in more ways than just words.
"He treats us to dinner when we block well for him," said lineman David Aubrey.
Although it will be a hefty bill at the local restaurant, Sharpe feels glad to have earned the respect of not only the guys in front of him, but the entire team.
NOTES: Osceola was awarded 223 "style points" by the panel of six media ands, while Augusta garnered 82 ... Sharpe tied the record of Odest Shannon set last year against the Fayetteville Guard and was five shy of the single-game yardage mark also held by Shannon ... Sharpe garnered the game offensive MVP honor, while Turmarian Moreland ( three tackles, one interception) earned defensive honors. Defensive lineman Harvey Joiner was the line MVP while Luther Huggins (147 yards on three returns) took Special Teams MVP ... Joe Day was honored as the Ghostriders' first "Local Legend"
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