Florida State takes the lead for 2023 DB Sharif Denson

With commitments in back-to-back days to end last week, Florida State is beginning to build plenty of early momentum in the 2023 class. Rising junior defensive back Sharif Denson has garnered at least 24 offers during his recruitment and is primed to blossom into one of the top prospects in his class. He’s just trying to keep his head down and stay on the grind.

“It’s a great feeling,” Denson said. “I’m just trying to remain humble and continuing to work because I know someone is working as hard as me behind closed doors.”

Florida and Florida State have been the two schools pushing the hardest for the Bartram Trail product at this point. He named the Gators his leader last month due to a few factors. Denson likes how they produce defensive backs, his parents went to school there, and Tre’Vez Johnson (former player at his high school) is currently on UF’s roster. However, he’s recently had a change of heart.

“Honestly, I switched it now,” Denson said. “FSU is probably my No. 1 but I like the Florida feeling, the swamp feeling. They low-key can be considered as DBU as well. Tre’Vez [Johnson] went there, he’s told me it’s a good school. My parents went to UF too so the school has some history.”

“They’re [FSU] definitely No. 1 at this point,” Denson continued. “Every week I talk to coach Woodson and coach JP [John Papuchis]. I had a facetime call with Coach Norvell a couple of weeks ago so they’re showing a lot of love. Plus my favorite two players in the NFL, Jalen Ramsey and Derwin James, went to FSU. I’m trying to follow behind them.”

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With the dead period being pushed back until at least the summer, Denson has begun thinking about where he’ll potentially try to visit. He’s planning for Tallahassee to be his first stop along with trips to Gainesville, Miami, and Oklahoma.

“I’m gonna be at Florida State the first day that it’s [dead period] over,” Denson said. “I already talked to coach Norvell and coach Woodson and they want me up there. That’s definitely my first thought as of right now.”

The Florida native has developed a strong relationship with defensive backs coach Marcus Woodson and defensive ends coach John Papuchis. He talks with both of them each week and also speaks with Mike Norvell from time to time. Coach Woodson is planning to connect Denson with 2022 cornerback commit Travis Hunter so that they can speak on facetime. 2023 running back commit Cedric Baxter Jr has also reached out to him and the two had a brief conversation.

“They just seem like cool, genuine people,” Denson said. “Coach Woodson, I just look at him like an uncle. We have such a good relationship and the older wisdom he provides me. Coach JP is just like that goofy, funny guy that can be serious when he needs to be.”

Denson would like to consider making a commitment to a school following his visits or after his junior season. One factor that could help out the Seminoles a little bit is that his brother actually goes to FAMU, so they could be close together. Denson returned from a meniscus injury to total 52 tackles and an interception as a sophomore. He wants to record five interceptions, five touchdowns on offense, and give up zero touchdowns in 2021.

The 5-foot-10, 160-pound cornerback is currently unranked in the 2023 class according to 247Sports. That will change at some point in the near future.

NoleGameday will continue to keep up with Denson and his interest in Florida State throughout his high school career.

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