FSU is trending upward with 4-star quarterback Artur Sitkowski, proving the Seminoles still have the upper hand on the Florida Gators when it comes to recruiting IMG Academy prospects.
Ask Florida State fans what they’ll remember most about the last four years, and more than a few will claim the four consecutive victories over Florida.
Of course, we all know the first step toward winning on Saturdays is winning on the recruiting trail. The Seminoles have certainly done that, and they’ve won in one of the most important markets in the state: IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
In the 2017 recruiting class, FSU signed two former Ascenders: 5-star defensive end Joshua Kaindoh and 3-star tight end Tre McKitty.
But the ‘Noles have been plucking talented blue-chip recruits from IMG for quite awhile now. They’ve signed five players in the past three cycles.
The Gators, on the other hand, have been doing anything but that. Florida has yet to sign a player from IMG as Jim McElwain heads into his third season as head coach.
Meanwhile, FSU saw a former Ascender, Deondre Francois, emerge as the team’s starting quarterback and up-and-coming star this past season.
It appears not much has changed.
The Gators were thought to be the leader at one point for 4-star recruit Artur Sitkowski, the No. 8 quarterback and No. 75 overall player in the 2018 class. But Florida State is making its move on the new IMG quarterback.
Sitkowski visited Tallahassee this past weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it. While the 4-star prospect walked away without a scholarship offer, he did connect with head coach Jimbo Fisher and quarterbacks coach Randy Sanders while getting acquainted with the state’s capital.
“I got to see campus. I love Florida State. It is a great place,” Sitkowski told 247Sports. “Definitely impressed me a lot today with overall everything. I was shocked with the dorms, see the apartments, see the fields. It is absolutely beautiful.”
The lack of an offer is not necessarily a big deal, as FSU wants Sitkowski to attend its camp and throw in front of Fisher before an offer is extended.
“[Fisher] is going to recruit the heck out of me,” Sitkowski added. “They like me a lot. They want me to be a Seminole. But there are some things we have to do first.”
Sitkowski acknowledged an offer from Florida State would put the Seminoles at the top of his list, and if that’s the case, it spells trouble for Florida.
The Gators may be turning the heat up on other quarterbacks like Emory Jones and Joe Milton, but if FSU can land Sitkowski, it will be the same old story between the two rivals in regards to recruiting IMG Academy.
The IMG Academy continues to produce elite, talented football players year after year, and the ‘Noles have been one of the bigger beneficiaries. If they can put Sitkowski in garnet and gold, it will only strengthen the relationship between FSU and IMG — a relationship that dates back to when former Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke served as IMG’s football director.
It sounds like that’s the direction we’re headed in.
“They fit my check box and everything. I am looking for a great school, good academics, with a great tradition, with a great coach, an offensive-minded coach,” Sitkowski said of Florida State. “Coach Fisher has put so many quarterbacks into the NFL. It would be huge for me. I think they would go instantly right to the top.”
Of course, Miami has also been keeping tabs on Sitkwoski, and Mark Richt’s staff is also in a great position to land a commitment from the 4-star quarterback.
However, if you bring that up in front of Florida State fans, they’ll remind you of the seven consecutive victories the ‘Noles have claimed over the Hurricanes. Factor in the four straight over the Gators, and the Seminoles have all of the bragging rights to sell on the recruiting trail in the Sunshine State.