Florida Gators & FSU battling for top prospects in 2016

The Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles are rivals on and off the football field and that often translates into recruiting battles every year, something that is once again the case in 2016.

To make the recruiting rivalry even sweeter, each team has a guy on their team that has flipped from the other school. At Florida State they have Dalvin Cook and the Florida Gators have Treon Harris, both of whom made last minute flips.

Florida Gators coach Jim McElwain acknowledged the importance of this game for recruiting but ultimately believes that one game won’t determine where kid goes to school.

“I think, you know, it’s always big. Any game you play against a team, just like Georgia, anybody in our footprint that you’re recruiting against,” McElwain said. But the general consensus out there is they can see where the Gators are headed. That’s really what recruiting’s all about.”

Here are five players that the Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles are battling for in recruiting in the class of 2016.

Uncommitted receiver Nate Craig-Myers- Craig-Myers was a long time Auburn Tigers commit but decommitted from the Tigers this fall and was considered a Florida State lean following that decommitment. Shortly after that decommitment Craig-Myers brother [Jayvaughn Myers] committed to Florida and that is when the Gators saw the momentum flip in their favor for Craig-Myers. Craig-Myers has been in Gainesville three times this year and is planning on making his fourth trip on Saturday but recently the Noles have gotten back into the race for his signature. Right now I think Craig-Myers is a Gators lean, but this battle will go into January and early February.

Florida State defensive end commit Janarius Robinson- Robinson is a long time Florida State commit but has recently become shaky in his pledge to the Noles and has taken visits to Alabama and Florida this fall. Robinson is expected to be in Gainesville on Saturday and follow that up with an official visit to Florida in January. Robinson is a prospect that has tremendous upside, but right now I would say he sticks with Florida State. Once again this battle will go into the New Year.

Uncommitted defensive tackle Shavar Manuel- Manuel was once considered a Florida State silent commit but then at Florida’s Friday Night Lights he made news by saying he wanted to play in the SEC, and that’s when the momentum shifted away from Florida State. Right now Manuel has both Florida and LSU on top, but some say that Florida State still expects to get an official from the defensive tackle. Manuel is also expected to be in Gainesville on Saturday for the Florida Gators game against the school out west.

Florida Gators defensive end commit Antonneous Clayton- Clayton is a solid commit to the Florida Gators but at one time Clayton was highly considering the Noles after a trip to Tallahassee. During that trip to Tallahassee is when Clayton and Janarius Robinson became close, but ultimately Clayton ended up picking the Gators over FSU and Auburn.

Uncommitted receiver Keith Gavin- Gavin was also once a Florida State commit but backed off of that this fall and was thought to be an Alabama Crimson Tide lock. That no longer appears to be the case. Gavin visited the Gators for the first time this year for the Vanderbilt game and enjoyed the trip enough to say that Florida was in the mix for him. Gavin is scheduled to officially visit Florida, Florida State and Alabama but right now I would say I lean towards him going to Alabama. One thing to remember is that his teammate and good friend is LSU Tigers quarterback commit Feleipe Franks and if he goes to Florida then Gavin could look harder at the Gators.

Will there be another Dalvin Cook or Dante Fowler story this year? Only time will tell.

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.