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The senior class at IMG Academy has — and I stress, this is not a typo — 18 players rated at three stars-or-better. Eighteen.
We take that sort of thing for granted in Bradenton, Fla., where Bobby Acosta's program annually pumps out the most terrifying depth charts in high school football — and annually sends his guys to dominate in the SEC immediately thereafter.
For the most recent example? See: Ricks, Eli.
Two Games. Two Interceptions. pic.twitter.com/HrHgrtJ2Oi— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) October 4, 2020
This year is no different, except that it is a little different if only in the shear depth of it all. The Ascenders legitimately put nothing but future FBS guys on the field. At every position. Oh, and with respect to Deondre Francois and Shea Patterson, five-star quarterback JJ McCarthy has a chance to be the best in school history.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Michigan commit went 12-for-16 for 240 yards, with completions to seven different receivers in the first half of IMG’s victory over Life Christian last week — and that was just another day at the office.
But it’s the talent that surrounds McCarthy that takes IMG from ‘great high school team’ to ‘whoa.’
For the visual learners out there, it goes a little something like this:
The Program Changers
The 'How Have We Mentioned Five Guys & Not Mentioned These Guys'
The 'He Would Be The Best Player On Your High School Team' Third Tier
That’s 15 guys and this isn't an exhaustive list. We haven't mentioned Boston College-bound tackle Ilijia Krajnovic — all 6-foot-8, 350 pounds of him. We haven’t mentioned three-star outside linebacker Jamarion Ellis. And, of course, because this is an article about the seniors, we haven't mentioned a junior.
@c7_brooks showed why he is a top receiver in the country! @1804jackboy x Pressure— Highlight Higgy (@HighlightHiggy) September 7, 2020
5 🌟, @AlabamaFTBL commit: Ja’Corey Brooks went against Venice
Filmed by : @HighlightHiggy & @damian_brownn
Edited by: @HighlightHiggy @IMGAcademy @IMGAFootball #FridayNightJourneys✨ pic.twitter.com/z2rNizBWnL
If we were to mention the ’22 group in Bradenton, we’d surely bring up Kamari Wilson, the top-ranked safety in the country, or Tyler Booker, a 6-foot-4, 290-pound, four-star offensive tackle.
We’d most certainly name-drop Kaytron Allen, also known as the most highly-touted backup running back in the country, with four stars to his name and offers in his back pocket from the likes of Alabama, Ohio State and Georgia.
In the interest of time, however, we’ll stop there. You can see for yourself on Saturday when IMG meets sixth-ranked Duncanville in Arlington, Texas, LIVE on FloFootball.