Thursday, July 18, 2013
Rivalry Week: Flip-flopped recruits
By Corey Dowlar
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- It's rivalry week. And what in-state college football rivalry wouldn't have it's fair share of recruiting battles and spurns?
RecruitingNation takes a quick glance at some players at Florida and Florida State who turned down one school or the other during the recruiting process to sign with a rival.
WR Percy Harvin (2006): Harvin would go on to be one of the most electric college football players during his time in Gainesville. But, at one point, he was leaning to Florida State. Growing up, he liked the Seminoles mainly for their tradition and success. But coach Urban Meyer came in and did a great job recruiting him to the Gators and got a couple of national titles out of the deal.
WR Damon McDaniel (2006): McDaniel was a one-time commitment to Florida and teammate of Harvin. It was a slam dunk that the two would play together in college, right? Nope, not exactly. McDaniel ended up signing with rival Florida State on national signing day, but his career turned out to fall short of Harvin's. He would end up transferring out of the Seminoles program.
Dante Fowler Jr. spurned the Seminoles when he flipped to the Gators on national signing day in 2012.
DE Dante Fowler Jr. (2012): Fowler had been a commitment to Florida State for about two years when national signing day came around in 2012. Rumors of a switch persisted and some wrote them off, and some took stock.They turned out to be very much the truth as Fowler made the switch early that Wednesday morning. He's just one season into his career, but the outlook is very promising.
DB Patrick Robinson (2006): Florida went down into the Miami area to secure a commitment from a talented cornerback in Robinson in the 2006 cycle, but something happened in the final week leading up to NLI time. Robinson, who had only been committed to the Gators for a short time, faxed in his letter to Tallahassee instead of Gainesville. He'd go on to be a steady performer for the Seminoles on his way to getting drafted by the New Orleans Saints.
DB Matt Elam (2010): A Gator commitment, the Seminoles surged late for Elam. Late in his recruitment, Elam decided to decommit from Florida only to commit to Florida State right around the turn of the year. He wasn't done yet, though. After changing his mind once, he changed it again and ended up signing with the Gators and Urban Meyer. Elam would go on to be selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL draft.
DB Greg Reid (2009): Reid was committed to Florida for a while but ended up decommitting from the Gators in early January. Even still, Florida State had a lot of work to do to earn his signature by fending off Georgia and Alabama. But Jimbo Fisher made Reid an absolute priority and eventually won out. Reid wouldn't end up finishing his career at Florida State because of off-the-field problems, but he made plenty of big plays in his time at FSU.
WR Andre Debose (2009): One of the most sought-after prospects in the Sunshine State in 2009, Debose saw both teams throw the kitchen sink at him. Florida State ended up getting the last crack with a late official visit, but the Gators ended up closing the deal. Unfortunately for Debose, his career was set back by some injuries, and he hasn't quite lived up to expectations. He'll have one last shot to bring it all together this fall.
WR Bert Reed (2007): A commitment to Florida, Bert Reed and Meyer had a falling out late in the recruiting process. Reed made a final decision at his high school on national signing day, selecting the Seminoles and completed the switch. Reed was a steady performer for Florida State over his career and played in a lot of games. He went undrafted, but was signed to several practice squads.