By David Udel.
The Class of 2018 had four very talented and highly sought after kids from American Heritage High School. 4* DE Andrew Chatfield, 4* DT Nesta Silvera.
5* CB Patrick Surtain, and 5* CB Tyson Camble.
Every Florida school threw all they had at the four in hope of landing their letter of intent. The four American Heritage kids were, and still, are very close friends. Back then they were talking about all four going to the same college.
Their recruitment went down to the wire, and no one really knew what would happen. Patrick Surtain who had been committed to LSU, was the only one with a long time commitment to a school because his family is from Lousiana. However, the Hurricanes were working hard for the flip and many believed they would get it. So his last minute unexpected flip to Alabama looked very suspicious to the many South Florida fans.
Tyson Campbell, Nesta Silvera, and Andrew Chatfield, however, looked like they would stay in their home state. It looked like all three would be Gators or Hurricanes. So when Campbell all of a sudden picked UGA, once again, State of Florida fans were very suspicious of his decision.
Chatfield and Silvera, however, we’re certainly going to be Gators or Hurricanes together. The recruiting battle was on and it went back and forth with no one really knowing what was going to happen.
So when Chatfield signed with the Gators, Canes fans freaked out thinking Silvera would follow. But that didn’t happen and as Silvera put it, “I can go be great somewhere else, or I can be great at the Crib”‘, and became a Cane.
To this point, Chatfield, Surtain, and Campbell have all played each other in 2018. There was not a ton of Twitter trash talk between them, and I’d say Patrick Surtain had the best year.
But that’s not the case between Chatfield and Silvera for the upcoming August 24th matchup between the Gators and the Canes. Andrew Chatfield fired shots at Miami in a 247 interview last week saying,
“Well, I don’t really see them as a challenge, I just see them as another team really, because I feel like my whole team, we face SEC teams, big-boy teams. They faced one SEC team, and they got smashed by LSU last time I checked. But it’s whatever though, it’s just another game.”
Big talk for a guy that only had half a tackle last year. Chatfield’s longtime buddy Nesta Silvera fired right back on Twitter and the two seem to be sharing friendly, but somewhat serious trash talk between them.
Though Chatfield only had a half tackle last year, we all know he is a beast and the Gators expect big things from him this year. Silvera saw action in 10 games as a Cane, where he showed his famous mean streak he is known for in a very nice freshman campaign. So the fact shots are already being fired by these two is no big surprise.
Gator and Canes fans can say all they want about how this game is just another game, but we all know it’s not. From 1938 to 1987, the Gators and Canes played every year as part of the Florida Cup. But when the SEC added another SEC game to every SEC school the Gators dropped Miami and basically ended the Florida Cup as we knew it. There was also the fact that the fights between the fans were really getting out of control. I know because I was in a few of those fights myself. The State Police actually addressed both schools about the fighting trying to find a way to put an end to the violence. Make no mistake, there is no love lost between the Gators and Canes, both off and on the field, as demonstrated on Bourbon Street in the 2000 Sugar Bowl where Miami got the best of the Gators, both on Bourbon Street and in the Bowl game.
To be fair, the fight started off with more Canes than Gators, so it may not of been the fairest of fights. Never the less, there were only Gators that reported getting injured, as one Gator suffered a black eye while another got thrown into a window and was reported to have receive cuts and a bloody shirt.
Things have quieted down since those games, mostly because Miami kinda fell off the map under coach Shannon and coach Golden. But make no mistake, dropping the Canes from their schedule really pissed the Miami fans off, and to this day, they still hate the Gators. Meanwhile, Gator fans are sick and tired of hearing how Miami has won eight out of the last eleven matchups and how they lead the series twenty-nine to twenty-six. So the Gators would love nothing more than to beat Manny Daiz’s “New Miami”
All I know is if the trash talk being fired by Silvera and Chatfield is any indication of how this game will be a dog fight, this longtime fan of this rivalry can’t wait till August 24th.