- Derek Tyson, RecruitingNation
On the field, Florida (6-5) and Florida State (7-4) have struggled to sub-par records this season. Off the field, both have done well in recruiting and are on pace to sign top-10 recruiting classes. In the annual rivalry game on Saturday, there will be several players who were torn between the two powerhouse programs. Here is a closer look at how these two arch-rivals have fared in head-to-head recruiting battles over the last five years.
ESPNU class rank: FSU No. 1, Florida No. 12
With Urban Meyer retiring and new Florida head coach Will Muschamp having less than two months to finish his first class, FSU pretty much cleaned up on the big prospects. Defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, running back James Wilder Jr., and wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin were all big-time prospects that Florida had a great chance to sign. But all three chose to be Seminoles. Defensive back Nick Waisome was verbally committed to Florida for months before switching to FSU just before signing day.
Edge: Florida State
ESPNU class rank: Florida No. 1, FSU No. 6
Safety Matt Elam committed to Florida, decommitted and then verbally committed to FSU when Meyer first resigned in December 2009. When Meyer quickly decided to return to Florida, so did the highly rated safety from Palm Beach (Fla.) Dwyer. The Gators and the Noles also were after linebacker Jeff Luc, as Florida State landed the hard-hitting linebacker prospect. Defensive back Lamarcus Joyner also chose FSU over Florida. Aside from some losses to FSU, however, not much went wrong for the Gators, as Florida went on to sign the No. 1-rated class by ESPNU, including 10 prospects from out of state.
Several players in Saturday's game between Florida and Florida State came down to picking one over the other in recruiting.