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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Speedy Salinan commits to KU

Football/track great makes pledge for '06

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Snagging a running back for the 2005 recruiting class took Kansas University's football team up to the final hours before signing day in February.

That won't be the case in 2006, though.

Wednesday, KU received a non-binding oral commitment from Jake Sharp, a speedy tailback from Salina. He's the sixth known early commitment for the recruiting class of '06, and the third from the Sunflower State.

"I just kind of weighed all the pros and cons of all the schools I was looking at," Sharp said. "I just felt comfortable with Kansas, and I wanted to go ahead and get it out of the way."

Sharp, 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds, has clocked extraordinary times in a number of different sprints. He was the Class 5A state runner-up in the 100-meter dash this year, took third in the 200, and has been timed in the 40-yard dash at close to 4.4 seconds. He also won the state title in the long jump after a leap of 22 feet, 81â4 inches.

Sharp plays both running back and cornerback for Salina Central High and led the Mustangs to a 10-1 record and state quarterfinal appearance as a junior, scoring 33 touchdowns. He said Wednesday that KU primarily recruited him as a running back and return specialist, though he said he was willing to do anything once he arrived next summer in Lawrence.

Kansas currently has senior Clark Green atop the depth chart at running back, with freshman Gary Green backing him up. Junior Jon Cornish also is in the mix, and KU grabbed a speedy high school tailback from Texas, Angus Quigley, just before signing day in February.

After one more year of football at Salina Central, Sharp will be thrown in the equation, too. And he's ready.

"They're on the up and up," Sharp said. "Hopefully, when I get there, we can get even higher and win a Big 12 title."

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