NCF On The Trail: Recruiting Rivalries

Battleground 2014: OSU-Michigan 

December, 4, 2012
12/04/12
11:25
AM ET
The 2014 recruiting class for Ohio State is expected to be small. At the same time, it could be very strong.

That is, if the Buckeyes can get some of the monster names they will most likely have to fight Michigan for next year.

The Wolverines struck first at the most pressing need for Ohio State when they swiped inside linebacker Michael Ferns out of St. Clairsville, Ohio. In turn, Urban Meyer swooped in for Ferns’ state final game last weekend with four of his closest friends -- all Buckeyes assistants -- to watch the ESPN Watch List junior play.

Recruiting rivalries: UF, FSU in 2014 

December, 4, 2012
12/04/12
10:58
AM ET
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.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Battleground 2014: Michigan-OSU 

December, 4, 2012
12/04/12
10:54
AM ET
Michigan is already off to a great start for its 2014 class with the commitments of ESPN Watch List linebacker Michael Ferns (St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville) and offensive lineman Denzel Ward (Chicago/Hales Franciscan).

While those two are committed, they might still be big battles for the Wolverines. Ferns and his team were in the state finals, and Ohio State sent head coach Urban Meyer, offensive line coach Ed Warinner and defensive coordinator Luke Fickell to his game to watch the junior in action.

Michigan fans have nothing to worry about with Ferns, but the Michigan coaching staff will have to fend off other programs until he enrolls early.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Georgia’s recent success against Florida has been a long time in coming. The Bulldogs had not beaten the Gators in back-to-back seasons in more than two decades, dating back to 1988-89. Florida has an 18-5 record over Georgia since 1990 so the rivalry has been mostly one-sided. But thanks to some recruiting success, Mark Richt has turned the annual showdown in Jacksonville, Fla., back into one of the most highly contested battles of the year.

And he did it with some ringers from the Sunshine State.

Quarterback Aaron Murray has struggled against the Gators but is 2-1 in his career against them. In his first win he completed four passes to tight end Orson Charles of Tampa, Fla. All-SEC kicker Blair Walsh, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., always said the Florida game was the biggest of the year and he scored 22 points against the Gators in his career. Keeping Murray upright this year was a freshman from Jacksonville, right tackle John Theus.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

SEC competition is done for the year as far as the football field is concerned, but now it's time for things to get interesting.

A year ago, a flurry of activity that preceded the Tigers' national title game tilt with Alabama. In between Tyrann Mathieu's trip to the Heisman Trophy ceremony and LSU's eventual national title game loss, there came plenty of news on the recruiting front. The highlight of that was easily ESPN 150 safety Landon Collins' commitment to Alabama at the 2012 Under Armour All-America Game -- a controversial decision in favor of the Crimson Tide.

LSU and Alabama won’t meet on the field until next fall, but the rivalry will stay intense as both programs turn their attention to the remaining pieces of the 2012 recruiting effort.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

SPONSORED HEADLINES