Florida State Seminoles: Florida recruiting

Junior offensive tackle David Sharpe has not been thinking about football lately. Leading up to Thursday night’s Florida Class AAA basketball championship between his Providence High School Stallions and the Coral Springs Christian Crusaders, the talented two-sport athlete has let his coach field all of his football recruiting calls. And there have been a lot of them.

'14 DB Dawson commits to Gators

January, 8, 2013
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CROSS CITY, Fla. -- ESPN Watch List defensive back Duke Dawson (Cross City, Fla./Dixie County) has verbally committed to Florida. The 5-foot-11, 188-pound junior chose the Gators over in-state rival Florida State.

[+] EnlargeDuke Dawson
Derek Tyson/ESPNWatch List DB Duke Dawson committed to UF's 2014 class, citing a great relationship with coaches.
Dawson announced his decision at a ceremony held at his high school Tuesday afternoon.

The talented 2014 safety said his relationship with the Florida program is what ultimately persuaded him to choose the Gators.

"For one, I have felt the love there since day one and things haven't changed since," Dawson said. "I love talking to Coach T-Rob (Travaris Robinson), Coach [Will] Muschamp, Coach [Bryant] Young, Coach [Jeff] Dillman and the rest of them."

Dawson's comfort level with Florida started after receiving his first official scholarship offer at Florida's camp during the summer.

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Recruiting rivalries: UF, FSU in 2014 

December, 4, 2012
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With just a few short months left until national signing day, Florida and Florida State, as always, have two of the best recruiting classes in the country. 2014 will be no different. Here's a look at some of the top prospects Florida and Florida State will battle for next year.

DE Andrew Williams (McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing): The ESPN Watch List defensive end visited Florida over the summer and came away impressed with the Gators. Williams also visited FSU for its game against the Gators. Other schools will be heavily involved in Williams' recruitment, but these two schools are sure to be near his top schools throughout.

DE Denzel Ware (Crestview, Fla./Crestview): Ware has been committed to FSU since September, but the Gators continue to pursue the talented defensive end. Ware took an unofficial visit to Florida for a game this year and came away impressed. He remains firmly committed to FSU, but Florida is still lingering.

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Battleground 2014: FSU-Florida 

December, 4, 2012
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As the Class of 2013 is nearing the final days before national signing day, NoleNation takes a look at the Class of 2014 and some potential Florida-Florida State battles that are shaping up.

Denzel Ware -- Florida has kept up its pursuit of Ware, a Florida State commitment. The Watch List defensive end made an unofficial visit to see the Gators play at least once this fall, and his giving FSU his verbal isn't scaring off the Gators. Although UF has been persistent in its efforts, Ware says he is firmly committed to the Seminoles. However, if D.J. Eliot were to leave for Kentucky, there could be some kind of impact.

Ryeshene Bronson -- The ESPN Watch List wide receiver made his pledge to the Gators back in June. But since that point, much like Denzel Ware, he has been on Florida State's campus a handful of times. Bronson has given no indication of switching his commitment, but Florida State will likely keep tabs on him throughout the process.

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UF, FSU often clash for recruits 

November, 20, 2012
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Florida State

Timmy Jernigan: Growing up, there was never a question where Jernigan would play his college football. And there wasn't a question if he would make it to the next level. He was elite, even from a young age. And Jernigan loved the Florida Gators.

Defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins didn't waver, though. He continued working hard to get Jerngian on campus, coached him up on camps and eventually made headway. Finally, FSU got a stranglehold on Jernigan. And by the time national signing day rolled around, Florida didn't even send a letter of intent and Tallahassee was his destination.

James Wilder Jr.: A legend in the prep ranks from early on in his career, this powerful running back was considered to be a UF lean for a while. Florida State and Georgia entered the picture, too. All three programs battled it out intensely.

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Patrick ready for 'crazy' atmosphere 

November, 19, 2012
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As far as 2015 recruits go, there might not be one with a more impressive offer list than Jacques Patrick (Orlando, Fla./East River).

Listed as an athlete, Patrick's skills at running back have helped him garner offers from Alabama, Arizona, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Miami, Tennessee, UCF, USC and Vanderbilt. And Saturday he will be in Tallahassee to see the Seminoles and Gators line up against each other in a top-10 matchup.

"I'm really just looking forward to seeing a good game and watch how both teams run the ball," he said.

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J.C. Jackson takes a trip to Florida 

October, 23, 2012
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J.C. Jackson (Immokalee, Fla./Immokalee), a 2014 commitment to Florida State, traveled to Gainesville to see their in-state rivals Florida host South Carolina over the weekend.

The 6-foot, 185-pound ESPN Watch List member hadn't been to the Florida for a game yet, but definitely enjoyed his time there.

J.C. Jackson
Tom Hauck/ESPNHS2014 ESPN Watch List athlete J.C. Jackson is committed to Florida State, but attended Florida's win over South Carolina.
"It was an exciting game," he said. "That was my first time going to a Gator game.

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Ware enjoys trip to Gainesville 

October, 21, 2012
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Denzel Ware (Crestview, Fla./Crestview), a 2014 Florida State commitment, made his way to Gainesville this weekend to see Florida host South Carolina.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound defensive end really liked what he saw out of the Gators and their emphatic win. And even went as far as to say he saw some things out of the program he hadn't seen yet out of the Seminoles.

"I don't know about options, but they showed me a lot of stuff that Florida State hasn't shown me. It was real great. I liked the campus. I got a chance to actually be around their team. They seem like a pretty good team to be around."

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Johnnie Dixon prizes UF, FSU ties 

August, 24, 2012
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As isn't far from the norm at this time of the year, 2014 wide receiver Johnnie Dixon (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer) is ready to get the season going.

Recruiting, then, goes to the back burner. The 5-foot-11, 186-pound target is OK with that, though.

"It is going pretty good right now," he said. "It is kind of slow right now, but everything has been going pretty good.

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ESPN 150 WR Bailey aims to decide soon 

August, 15, 2012
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ESPN 150 wide receiver Alvin Bailey (Seffner, Fla./Armwood) was offered by Florida on Wednesday afternoon and would like to make a final decision soon, according to Armwood head coach Sean Callahan.

The 2013 Under Armour All-America Game invitee has narrowed his list to South Carolina, UCF, Michigan and Florida State, but the Gators' offer does add a new wrinkle to the mix.

"Alvin was offered by Florida today, and no he's not committing tonight and he's not going to commit tomorrow, either," Callahan said. "He said he'd like to make his decision before Sept. 1, and I expect he'll be a man of his word and get it done before then."

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2014 DB Dawson wants home-state stage 

August, 12, 2012
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CROSS CITY, Fla. -- For 2014 defensive back Duke Dawson (Cross City, Fla./Dixie County), the dream has always been to play college football at a big-time college program. After earning offers at camp from nearby schools Florida and Florida State, it looks like Dawson will get his chance.

[+] EnlargeDuke Dawson
Derek Tyson/ESPN.com2014 safety Duke Dawson has offers from Florida, Florida State, Iowa and Wisconsin.
Heading into his junior year, Dawson is just learning what the recruiting process is all about, but the 5-foot-11, 185-pound athlete says he has enjoyed the process so far.

"The attention is exciting," Dawson said. "It's always been my dream to play at a big school one day and now it looks like I will have that opportunity. It's been pretty cool."

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5-star OT Laremy Tunsil names officials 

August, 8, 2012
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Schools are fighting to get in with five-star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla./Columbia), but only five programs will be lucky enough to host the No. 3 prospect in the country for an official visit this fall.

“I will be taking official visits to Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss and USC,” Tunsil said.

Three of the programs made the cut because of their history.

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2014 OL Garrett Brumfield eyes FSU 

July, 31, 2012
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Just a week after hosting hundreds of prospects for football camp, Florida State had a top-flight offensive line recruit come in for his own unofficial visit.

The Seminoles' defensive ends coach D.J. Eliot scouted Garrett Brumfield (Baton Rouge, La./University Laboratory) during the spring and liked what he saw. Fast-forward a couple of months and Brumfield picked up the phone and planned a trip to Tallahassee.

"I contacted Coach Eliot and I was able to set up an unofficial visit last Friday," explained the 6-foot-3, 254-pound guard. "So we took a trip down to Florida -- it was about seven hours, actually. When I got there, I was able to meet with all the staff, take a tour of all the facilities, we ended up touring the locker room. Got a chance to watch the highlight tape. It was pretty good. Ended up meeting with Coach [Jimbo] Fisher in the end and he offered me in his office."

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Just a few short days after naming Florida State his top school, 2014 defensive lineman Travonte Valentine (Palm Bay, Fla./Bayside) decided to commit to Florida on Sunday.

The 6-foot-3, 295-pound tackle prospect announced his decision on Facebook. Valentine wrote: "ITS OFFICIAL IM A GATOR I FEEL PROUD ABT IT TOOO #CHOMP CHOMP."

Valentine, who chose Florida over offers from offers from FSU, Louisville, Auburn and Miami, said after thinking it over this weekend, he decided to choose the Gators.

"I talked to coach [Will] Muschamp, he was real excited," Valentine said. "He was telling me that I will be a good fit in their defense.

"I thought about it all weekend. I talked it over with my mom, some of my friends and girlfriend, and they were saying 'Gainesville is a good city, the coaches treat you with respect, you like it there. So why not commit?' "

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TAMPA. Fla. -- With quarterback Pete DiNovo (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake) and wide receiver Richard Benjamin (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Bay Tech) already in the fold, the UCF Knights were well represented at John Kaleo’s QB/WR Skills Camp on Friday.

Benjamin was often heard screaming "U-C-F" during the camp and has openly lobbied for his fellow Tampa-area prospects to join him at the Orlando university.

The big target that Benjamin was working on Friday was ESPN 150 wide receiver Alvin Bailey (Seffner, Fla./Armwood). And if you ask the ESPN 300 senior, he thinks it’s in the bag.

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