A crowd of about 500 at a black-tie affair witnessed future Irish quarterback Evan Sharpley be named Michigan athlete of the year at a Monday banquet.
The award also considers academics, citizenship as well as athletic achievements, and Sharpley came out on top on Monday.
”I was very honored to win,” said Sharpley shortly after receiving his award. “I thought I might have a chance to win. I was just honored to be there.”
Sharpley said that none of the finalists had any idea who might win the award after all six were called up on stage to be recognized for their achievements.
”It was pretty nerve-racking,” Sharpley said. “None of us had any idea of who might win. It was actually pretty exciting.
”I was very happy. I guess you don’t expect to win these things. It was just a great honor.”
Sharpley’s dad, Tom Sharpley, also was excited for his son.
”To hear his name called was a surprise,” Tom Sharpley said. “You’re in some good company when you win the award. People like Drew Henson, Shane Battier and Stuart Schweigart have won the award in the past. I think he feels humbled and blessed.”
We asked Evan if he was concerned that his decision to attend Notre Dame might hurt his chances to win the award.
”I think that was in the back of my mind a little bit, but there were a lot of guys up there with some pretty good credentials anyway,” he said.
Sharpley did get to spend the evening with friend and future Irish wide receiver David Grimes.
”David and I are good friends. David told me he wanted me to win so he didn’t have to go up there and talk to everyone,” Sharpley said with a big laugh.
”He told me he was very excited about getting to Notre Dame and getting started. I think we both can’t wait to get there and start our college careers,” he added.
Sharpley’s award is just another in his storied high school career. He’s also finishing his senior season in baseball where he’s “hitting around .500 with eight home runs.” He’ll likely be recognized for his baseball accomplishments on the All-American teams as well after the season ends.