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UF-UGA: Top 10 recruiting battles

10/24/2012

The Florida-Georgia rivalry doesn't just take place in Jacksonville. The two schools compete all year long on the recruiting trail around the Southeast. Kipp Adams of DawgNation and Derek Tyson of GatorNation take a look at ten of the top battles for blue-chip players, five from each school's perspective.

Florida

WR Jacquez Green (Fort Valley, Ga./Peach Co.): Green played quarterback in high school and was recruited by the in-state Bulldogs to be a cornerback. Green, however, admittedly wasn't a fan of Georgia head coach Ray Goff and wanted to play offense on the next level. Green signed with Florida to play wide receiver for Steve Spurrier. Green caught 61 passes for 1,024 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior and was a consensus All-American in 1997. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1998 draft.

DE Jermaine Cunningham (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson): The four-star defensive end had offers from Auburn, Georgia, Florida State, Tennessee and Virginia Tech. Cunningham had his most productive year at Florida in 2006 when he produced 64 tackles, including 12 for a loss and 6.5 sacks. A second team all-SEC selection in 2008 and 2009, Cunningham was a second-round draft pick of the New England Patriots in the 2010 NFL draft.

QB Cam Newton (Atlanta/Westlake): A five-star prospect, Newton had offers from Georgia, Maryland and Virginia Tech among many others. Newton originally signed with Florida in 2007 and played sparingly in 2007 behind Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow. Newton took a medical redshirt in 2008 and transferred to Blinn College after facing legal problems in Gainesville. Newton went on to sign with Auburn and lead the Tigers to a national championship while also winning the Heisman Trophy. Newton was the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft.

LB Channing Crowder (Atlanta/North Springs): Crowder, a four-star prospect, chose Florida over Georgia, Penn State, N.C. State and South Carolina. In 2003, as a freshman, Crowder was second on the team with 106 tackles. In 2004, Crowder totaled 73 tackles including 8.5 tackles for loss and earned all-SEC honors. Crowder was the No. 70 overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft.

TE Ben Troupe (Augusta, Ga./Butler): The big 6-foot-4 tight end chose Florida over Georgia, Clemson and South Carolina. Troupe finished his college career at Florida with 958 yards and seven touchdowns on 64 receptions. In 2003 Troupe was named an all-SEC and All-American, and was also a finalist for the John Mackey award which goes to the nation’s top tight end.

Georgia