Jack Sharp studied his preferred walk-on offers. The Class of 2021 prospect was looking for a place where he wouldn't just be roster depth but receive a legitimate chance at proving himself.
In the end, that program ended up being Iowa Football.
"I choose Iowa over other Division I and II programs because I think here I can become my best version of myself as an athlete and as a student," Sharp told HN. "I've heard numerous great things about the program and the school itself. Not many kids get offered this opportunity at a Big Ten school, so I had to take it."
Sharp spent the fall playing at New Berlin (NY) Milford Academy prep school after competing at Orchard Park (NY) High. He enrolled at Iowa this month and joined the Hawkeye program.
Iowa brings back starting quarterback Spencer Petras along with backups Alex Padilla and Deuce Hogan from this past season. Class of 2021 signal caller Joey Labas is expected to arrive this summer.
Milford played five games in the fall. Sharp (6-1, 207) completed 86 of 115 passes for 1,275 yards and seven touchdowns. He added three rushing scores.
Iowa quarterback Coach Ken O'Keefe received a tip about Sharp from longtime Milford coach Bill Chaplick. Running back Shonn Greene was among the former players at the school who played for the Hawkeyes.
"Coach Chaplick showed coach O'Keefe my film and recommended me to the program. After that, me and coach O'Keefe began communicating and he offered me a PWO (preferred walk-on). He said he loved my film and thinks I would fit in well here," Sharp said.
O'Keefe and Sharp formed a strong bond during their interactions.
"He is a great man and he does things the right way. His personality and the respect he gives to recruits is one of the big reasons why I choose to attend Iowa. His vision for me is if I work my tail off this spring I will be just fine," Sharp said.
Purdue and Tulane were among the other programs offering Sharp a walk-on chance.
"My goal was to get a scholarship but because of COVID(-19) and how not a lot of schools were giving out scholarships, I wasn't able to fulfill that goal. After my year at prep school this past fall, a lot of these schools weren't really offering high school or prep kids. They were just getting kids from the transfer portal," he said.
Sharp didn't wallow in his misfortune. He listened and marched forward.
"The advice coach Chaplick gave to me was to work my tail off while I'm here. He said be the first one there and last one to leave at any workout or meeting. Coach Chaplick also said if I go out there and do what I do I will end up just fine," he said.
Sharp will be majoring in Finance at Iowa.
Here's a look at Sharp's Milford highlights: