Georgia vs. Florida: Which Rival Will Finish with Better 2014 Recruiting Class?

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IJanuary 30, 2014

Georgia vs. Florida: Which Rival Will Finish with Better 2014 Recruiting Class?

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Georgia and Florida are not only two of the best football programs in the country, they're also two of the most feared schools on the recruiting trail. 

    The Bulldogs are led by head coach Mark Richt, while Will Muschamp has established himself as a terrific recruiting head coach during his short tenure with the Gators. This year, the two SEC juggernauts are once again on the verge of signing excellent recruiting classes.

    However, like all rivals, Georgia and Florida want to finish ahead of each other in the final recruiting rankings. Who's going to come out on top?


    All recruiting totals are based on 247SportsPlayer evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

Georgia's 2014 Recruiting Capsule

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    David Goldman/Associated Press

    With his program residing in such a talented state, it can get tough for Georgia head coach Mark Richt to keep all of the top Peach State prospects at home. However, Richt and his staff do a solid job of this, plus they're not afraid to reach out to other states for talent.

    UGA has 18 commitments, with two being 5-star prospects. The class also has another 10 players who are 4-star recruits, with states such as Florida and North Carolina, along with the Peach State, being represented.

    The Bulldogs boast 11 offensive pledges, while the defense has seven.

Florida's 2014 Recruiting Capsule

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    John Raoux/Associated Press

    It used to be rare for Florida to venture out of the South on the recruiting trail but not anymore. The Gators have the ability to go anywhere for talent, and head coach Will Muschamp knows this.

    Aside from 12 in-state commitments in its 21-man class, Florida has gone to New York, Texas, Kansas, Washington, D.C., South Carolina, Louisiana, North Carolina and even Wyoming to get players.

    The group features one 5-star prospect, plus seven 4-star recruits. Furthermore, the Gators have 11 commitments for offense, eight for defense and two athletes. 

Georgia's Top 2014 Commitments

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    The best player and headliner of Georgia's class is 5-star running back Sony Michel from Florida. He is a 5'11", 205-pounder with outstanding quickness, instincts, speed, strength and receiving skills.

    He's not the only 5-star runner in the group, however, as running back Nick Chubb recently secured the coveted 5-star rating. Jacob Park, a 4-star quarterback from South Carolina, will join them in the backfield in Athens.

    Park will be protected by 4-star offensive linemen Isaiah WynnDyshon Sims and Kendall Baker. He'll also throw passes to 4-star prospects such as receiver Shakenneth Williams and tight end Jeb Blazevich.

    Defensively, 4-star cornerback Malkom Parrish and 4-star defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard are the top finds for Georgia. However, don't sleep on 4-star pass-rusher Keyon Brown.

    Also, watch out for 4-star safety Kendall Gant

Florida's Top 2014 Commitments

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    Jalen Tabor, a 5-star cornerback who is 6'1" and 182 pounds, is the top player in Florida's class. He has excellent instincts and length, which should help the Washington, D.C. native see the field early in Gainesville.

    Despite Tabor's talent, the most important player in the Gators' incoming crew of prospects is 4-star quarterback Will Grier. Florida hasn't received good production from the quarterback position in years, but he could change that soon.

    J.C. Jackson is a 4-star prospect who can play receiver or cornerback for the Gators. 

    The defensive line will receiver a huge boost from 4-star prospects Gerald WillisThomas Holley and Khairi ClarkDavid Sharpe is a raw 4-star offensive tackle with huge upside, while 4-star cornerback Duke Dawson should help sooner than later.

    Also, 3-star safety Quincy Wilson and 3-star tight end Moral Stephens are sleepers to keep an eye on. 

Georgia's Top Remaining 2014 Recruiting Targets

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    Credit: 247Sports

    The No. 1 priority for Georgia between now and national signing day is 5-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter. An in-state prospect for the Dawgs, he is an athletic 6'5", 232-pounder who can work with his hand down or standing up.

    Another big target is 4-star cornerback Wesley Green, who also is a Peach State native. Plus, UGA could land solid 3-star prospects such as tight end Ty Flournoy-Smith, safety Tez Parks and defensive end Josiah Coatney.

    A wild card is underrated 3-star defensive lineman Elisha Shaw

Florida's Top Remaining 2014 Recruiting Targets

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    Like Georgia, Florida would love to sign 5-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter. The Gators are also trying to lure 5-star cornerback Adoree' Jackson and 5-star offensive tackle Damian Prince to Gainesville.

    Isaiah McKenzie, a 4-star receiver, is also welcome in The Swamp.

    UF could finish its 2014 recruiting campaign with 3-star recruits such as offensive lineman Andrew Mike and receiver C.J. Worton

Who Will Finish with the Better Class?

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    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    This is going to go down to the wire, as both programs have elite recruiting classes that match up just about evenly.

    Look for Georgia to come away with 5-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter. Yet, Florida could likely counter with the addition of 5-star cornerback Adoree' Jackson.

    If this scenario comes to fruition, the classes will still be even. However, UGA will finish higher because the deciding factor will be that it has more 5-star recruits than UF.

2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map

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    Georgia and Florida both have commitments and targets who can be located on the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map!

    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.