Wide receiver Darnell Jenkins and cornerback Glenn Sharpe have been awarded redshirts by the NCAA.
Sharpe Gives Credit to Supporters
"I'm really excited, but I'm more surprised because I just found out earlier this afternoon," Sharpe said about winning the award. "Any time you receive a positive award like that it's a good feelings, especially for what this award represents. It just feels good that people recognize the hard work I put in to play the game I love."
Sharpe suffered his first knee injury in 2003 during a home game against Tennessee. He rehabbed and redshirted in 2004, before coming back in the spring of 2005 fully rehabbed. He was expected to compete for a starting job, but tore his ACL again prior to the 2005 season.
"A lot of times I was ready to give up on myself," Sharpe said of his rehab process. "I questioned if the game was for me, because when you have a serious injury like that coming off of a previous one and you worked so hard to get over the first one, you really get down on yourself."
Sharpe credited a strong support system, including family, friends, and teammates, for his recovery.
"I had a lot of positive people around me. Coaches, teammates, and most of all my family that kept me going."
He also credited former teammate and 2004 Piccolo Award winner Frank Gore for inspiring him to persevere.
"Frank definitely motivated me. A lot of times Frank and I talked. Frank's a good guy and a good friend. To see him come back off of two knee injuries and perform well is a definite inspriation to me."
With his first healthy season since 2002 now coming to a close, Sharpe has had a chance to look back and take in the lessons he learned.
"It was definitely a humbling experience. Once you get a chance to sit back, you learn to appreciate the game more because whenever you have the opportunity to do something you love, you realize how much you like doing it. Then when you're sitting out watching other people play, it really affects you. All the stuff that happened to me in the past made me a stronger and better person and that's something I'm thankful for because when obstacles come, you have to triumph over them."
Having a fully healthy and successful season, Sharpe was rumored to be considering entering the NFL. When asked if he had made a decision yet, Sharpe responded:
"Most likely I think I'm going to stay. Nothing definite, but right now I'm going to stay."
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