He wasn’t always like that, however.
“I’ve been playing football since I was in the fifth grade,” Sharp said. “I was about 5-6 and 140 pounds then. The coaches put me on the offensive line, and I played some defensive end, too. But I’ve stuck with offensive line for the most part and played it all through my sophomore and junior seasons.
“I’ve loved it,” the member of the 2014 Marietta Daily Journal Dynamite Dozen said. “Every play is a guaranteed opportunity to hit another guy on the other side. I like playing the offensive line. It’s a team and a brotherhood with the guys. There’s a lot of contact, which is another thing I like. Just that whole physical part of football is what I really like.”
Sharp has had two growth spurts since he started playing football. The first came around the seventh or eighth grade, when he shot up about 3 inches in one year. The second happened around his freshman and sophomore years, when he grew another 3 to 4 inches.
Sharp’s weight gain, however, was another matter altogether.
“I had a coach between my sixth- and ninth-grade years of football tell me a really good, cheap way to put just weight and build muscle on you is to eat a lot of peanut butter,” Sharp said. “That’s the reason I give for the weight gain. None of that super-expensive powder for weight gain or anything. Eat peanut butter.
The trick, however, is when to eat it.
“My coach told me the trick is you have to eat it before you go to bed,” Sharp said.
So began the weight-gaining odyssey, which began during his freshman season.
“Every night, especially when I was a freshman and sophomore, I would make a peanut butter-and-banana sandwich, and I would eat it with a big glass of whole milk, and I would go straight to bed,” he said. “I’d wake up some nights and be like, ‘Oh, my gosh,’ because my stomach didn’t feel right, but that was the secret weapon.”
Sharp said he was roughly 6 feet tall and weighed around 205 pounds “soaking wet” as a freshman, but he was 245 by the end of the school year. He continued the regimen during his sophomore season, ending year at roughly 265 pounds, stayed about 270 his junior season and reached his current weight when he got back on the peanut butter routine.
“It’s been working,” Sharp said.
Sharp goes to be bed around 10 p.m. eight night, figuring that if he doesn’t get his seven to eight hours of sleep a night, “I can’t even function the next day. I’d wake up and can’t even walk out the door wearing the right clothes.”
Before he goes to bed, Sharp says he typically starts the sandwich and milk routine around 9:30 p.m.
“Whenever you normally go to bed, just hit that last 30 minutes of when you’re awake and eat the sandwich and drink the milk,” he said. “As soon as you’re done, clean up and go straight to bed.”
Sharp said he added the milk to the routine because it made the sandwich taste better. Plus, he thought he’d get more protein with the milk.
The weight gained paid off well for Sharp, who has committed to play at Auburn next season. He also had scholarship offers from Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State and Cincinnati, among many others.
Sharp’s looking forward to the start of Sprayberry’s season — specifically Friday’s scrimmage with North Paulding, so he can finally hit someone other than a teammate.
The Sprayberry coaching staff is working Sharp in at nose tackle as well, because of the team’s depth.
“We have some great seniors, but we don’t have a lot of depth right now at Sprayberry,” Sharp said, “so we’re filling in some spots by flipping some seniors around.
“I’m excited about the season. We’ve just been grinding since January with workouts and conditioning and getting our plays right, so we’re excited over here to have this first game.”