Editor’s note: DawgNation plans another Invasion for the game in Florida on Oct. 28. The big recruiting news over the last week from 5-star QB Justin Fields offers a glimpse of the future of the rivalry.
Georgia has Fields committed for 2018. Thehe Gators have their own elite QB commitment in California 4-star Matt Corral.
In preparation for that big-game weekend, DawgNation takes a look at how those elite prospects wound up with each program.
There was a time when it looked like Georgia had a chance to sign Matt Corral or Justin Fields.
Florida also had that in mind.
The two SEC East rivals had both Elite 11 quarterbacks on their minds. When those two guys met the media at the Nike Opening in Oregon this summer, there was a case being made for Fields to Florida and Corral to Georgia.
And vice versa. Corral wore a UGA wristband in Oregon. Fields was seen wearing one of his own shortly afterward.
Let’s hit the pause button on this for a second: Corral, who de-committed from USC, is a special talent.
That same description also applies to Fields. The Penn State de-commit now rates as the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit for 2018. He’s heading to Georgia.
They were both rated among the nation’s top 3 QB prospects when they chose to re-open their recruiting prior to their senior seasons. That just does not happen. It will likely never happen again.
The big-boy programs like to square away their Golden Arms during their junior seasons. That allows those football factories to build their recruiting classes around those players. According to the 247Sports composite, Corral currently ranks as the nation’s No. 3 pro-style passer and as the No. 32 overall prospect.
The public futures for both players were still up in the air when Corral abruptly committed to Florida on his first unofficial visit in mid-July. Fields was also there. He even worked out in Gainesville at the “Friday Night Lights” event.
Fields, even though he chose UGA, never worked out for Georgia in a public camp-style setting.
What happened in between all of that? Did Corral get some Intel from Fields? Fields was likely seen as the top option for both programs due to his overall rating, but the Gators quickly made a move to go all in for Corral at some point this summer.
The elite arm talents are now tethered to opposite sides of the rivalry. It seems highly likely that at least a couple Florida-Georgia showdowns in the near future will provide a showcase for both players.