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Thursday, September 5, 2013
Top 10 Miami-Florida recruiting battles

By Derek Tyson and Corey Dowlar

Dalvin Cook
Florida went into Miami's backyard to get a commitment from ESPN 300 RB Dalvin Cook, but the Hurricanes aren't exactly ready to concede him to the Gators.
Florida and Miami face off this weekend in what could be the last match up between these two in-state teams for the foreseeable future. The Hurricanes and Gators have had some memorable games on the field, but also some fierce recruiting battles off it. Here's a closer look at 10 recent recruiting battles -- five that Florida won and five that Miami won.

Miami recruiting wins

CB Tracy Howard: Down the stretch, it looked like the Gators were going to grab an elite corner out of South Florida and transplant him into their secondary. The ESPN 150 prospect, however, ultimately didn't follow the script. As days passed, Miami began trending up. Ultimately, it would be the Hurricanes that would win his signature as Howard decided to stay home and play in front of friends and family.

DT Travonte Valentine: The ESPN 300 defensive tackle hasn't signed a letter of intent yet because he's a 2014 recruit, but he is headed to Miami for now. That wasn't always the case. Valentine spent time committed to Louisville and Florida at one point. Both in-state staffs were hot after his trail at one point, but if it plays out like it seems it will, Valentine will be playing his football at the University of Miami.

LB Tyriq McCord: An ESPN 150 and four-star defensive end out of Tampa, McCord strongly considered Florida and Miami at one point. Though he never ended up taking an official to Florida -- he only visited Miami, Georgia, South Carolina and USC officially -- McCord made a couple of unofficial visits to Gainesville.

DE Anthony Chickillo: Florida and Miami were two of the three schools able to get Chickillo on campus for an official visit during the recruiting process. The Gators did a very good job of getting Chickillo's attention, though the odds were always stacked against them. Chickillo's family has always been a Hurricanes family and he became a third-generation football player for the Canes when it was all said and done.

Denzel Perryman
The Gators were hot on the trail of linebacker Denzel Perryman, but the lure of "The U" was too much for him.
LB Denzel Perryman: Perryman was one of those prospects that saw a late rush of interest in January. The linebacker prospect took official visits to Miami, USC, Florida and Florida State down the stretch. At one point, it was thought that the Gators would end up being Perryman's final destination, but proximity won out in the end and Perryman is having a very solid career for the Hurricanes.

Florida recruiting wins

WR Andre Debose: Debose was one of the most electrifying playmakers coming out of high school and Miami was a team very high on Debose' list of schools. In fact his two high school teammates, Ray Ray Armstrong and Dyron Dye, both signed with Miami. Debose went back and forth with his decision but eventually signed with the Gators. He's had his ups and downs in Gainesville and tore his ACL during fall camp this year.

OL Matt Patchan: This four-star tackle was a Miami legacy and many just assumed he would select the Canes. But Florida head coach Urban Meyer was able to convince Patchan to choose the Gators. Patchan struggled with injuries his entire college career and eventually transferred to Boston College to play for former Florida offensive line coach Steve Addazio.

DT Jay-nard Bostwick: This ESPN 150 defensive tackle from South Florida had a final three of Florida, Miami and Alabama. He took an official visit to Miami a few short weeks before signing day, and the Canes and Gators were neck-and-neck. The Gators eventually won out, and Bostwick will likely see time in the defensive tackle rotation as a true freshman.

RB Dalvin Cook: Though this top 25 player hasn't yet signed with the Gators, he is still committed. Florida hasn't had much luck recruiting Miami Central and Cook, is one of the top running backs in the country. His teammate, Joseph Yearby, is committed to the Canes and Miami is still recruiting Cook. The four-star back will be in attendance for Saturday's game and the Gators are trying to hold on to their highest-rated prospect. For now, it appears that Cook is solid in his commitment to Florida.

WR Ermon Lane: The No. 2-ranked wide receiver in the country had a top three of Florida, Miami and Alabama, but the Gators eventually earned his commitment. Miami is sure to continue its recruitment of Lane, but he was the No. 1 priority from the beginning at a position of need. Lane will not be able to attend the game on Saturday because he has a game.