Florida Gators/Florida State rivalry extends into recruiting

It’s rivalry week around the country and the rivalry not only happens on the field but also in recruiting.

That’s especially true for the Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles as they’re constantly battling on for top rated prospects in the sunshine state and across the country.

With that being said that’s why this game is even more important for Florida to win on Saturday so they can simply change the wave in recruiting between the two schools.

This year Florida and Florida State haven’t gone head to head many times for prospects but there are five guys in particular that the two schools will be involved in down the stretch.


Receiver Henry Ruggs (6-1, 171, Montgomery AL. Lee)- Ruggs has visited both Florida and Florida State and the two schools, plus Alabama are thought to be the top teams for him. The Noles look to be in the third place here with official visits still looming for Ruggs.

Receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones (6-1, 188, Detroit, MI. Cass Tech)- will be in Tallahassee this weekend for his official visit to FSU. Michigan, Ohio State and Florida all look to be ahead of Florida State at this time, though. Peoples-Jones is likely to stay close to home for college ball.

Miami offensive line commit Navaughn Donaldson (6-6, 341, Miami, FL. Central)- Donaldson’s name is on here because if he flips from Miami it looks like the Gators and Noles would be the two schools with the best chance at getting him. Donaldson will be in Tallahassee this weekend for an official visit to Florida State.

FSU defensive tackle commit Cory Durden (6-4, 287, Newberry FL. High)- Durden has family ties to Florida State but he has visited the Gators several times this fall. The Gators continue to work on Durden in hopes of flipping him after he had a solid senior year.

Defensive end Jarez Parks (6-5, 255, Sebastian, FL. River)- Parks is also planning to take an official visit to Florida State this weekend. Parks has Alabama and Florida State ahead right now while the Gators look to be sitting in third place.


Those are the 2017 prospects that the Gators are battling Florida State over but here are five 2018 prospects that the schools will battle over.


2018 running back Lorenzo Lingard (6-0, 180, Orange City, FL. University)- Lingard might be the prospect that has these two schools as his actual finalist when it’s time for him to announce. Florida is pushing hard for Lingard since Florida State already has two back commits for next year. Lingard also has family around him that are Gator fans and the running back has visited Florida several times this fall.

2018 FSU athlete commit Justin Watkins (6-0, 160, Ocala, FL. Vanguard)- Watkins has also been to Gainesville a lot this fall and is keeping in contact with the Gators. Watkins is likely to play slot receiver at the next level and is someone that Florida will continue to recruit.

2018 offensive lineman Richard Gouriage (6-5, 250, Tampa, FL. Cambridge)- Gouriage doesn’t get into the recruiting game much and he hasn’t taken many visits. Gouriage likes Florida a lot and has people around him that like the Gators but his first visit to Tallahassee was good enough to make Florida State a legit contender.

2018 FSU offensive lineman commit Christian Meadows (6-3, 330, Montezuma, GA. Macon County)- Meadows visited Florida earlier this year and picked up an offer while in town. Meadows also admitted that he has a good relationship with offensive line coach Mike Summers and plans to return to Gainesville for more visits.

2018 cornerback Patrick Surtain (6-2, 183, Plantation, FL. American Heritage)- Surtain is one of the best corners in the country for 2018 and is teammates with Gators commit Marco Wilson in high school. Surtain currently favors Florida State and LSU but the Gators are working hard on him and trying to get him up on a visit this winter/spring.

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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.