Roll Tide: IMG-Duncanville Looks Like A Miniature 'A-Day'

USATSI_14984459_168383134_lowres.jpg

Nick Saban should consider temporary residency in Bradenton, Fla., with as many inroads to IMG Academy as he’s built from Alabama. 

Saturday’s national prep football showcase pitting America’s top-ranked IMG against No. 6-ranked Duncanville functions almost as a Crimson Tide preview. Three members of IMG Academy’s historically excellent senior class — offensive lineman JC Latham, defensive end Dallas Turner and wide receiver Jacorey Brooks — are committed to the Tide’s 2021 group of signees. 

Watch IMG vs. Duncanville LIVE on FloFootball

Another, linebacker Xavian Sorey, is entertaining a host of SEC offers. 247Sports’ predictions have Alabama a 100 percent favorite among the group. 

Saban and his staff are also courting Ascenders 2022 prospects like running back Kaytron Allen and offensive tackle Dayne Shor. 

The pipeline from Bradenton into Tuscaloosa isn’t a new development, either. Alabama’s 2020 roster features five IMG products: Stephon Wynn Jr., Evan Neal, Thomas Fletcher, Dylan Moses and Trey Sanders, and current Detroit Lion Bo Scarborough’s path to the NFL took him through both schools. 

As the foremost dynasty of the era in college football, Alabama’s consistent recruiting of IMG Academy prospects is a reflection of the Ascenders’ own prep dynasty. The 2020 football season may be unprecedented, but IMG Academy’s No. 1 national ranking and inside track for a national championship provides some normalcy.

In the case of both Alabama and IMG Academy, championship pursuits build from the lines. Small wonder, then, that the Crimson Tide have pinpointed Ascenders recruits in the trenches. 

Latham is the centerpiece in 2021. Ranked No. 1 in the state of Florida and seventh nationally, Latham anchors the stacked IMG offensive line at tackle, and has drawn comparisons to some of the most elite playing the position at higher levels. 

Ascenders line coach George Hegamin told 247Sports this summer Latham’s play is reminiscent of Tyron Smith, among others — including Alabama star Alex Leatherwood. 

Having another blue-chip blocker ready to follow in the line of succession after Leatherwood leaves for a likely first-day selection in next spring’s NFL draft speaks directly to the Tide’s success under Saban. It becomes self-perpetuating, and IMG is helping to feed that. 

Case in point, Evan Neal blasted out the following before Latham’s commitment: 

Roots run deep, and they’ll produce some new branches Saturday in IMG’s highly anticipated showdown with No. 6-ranked Duncanville

The second-ranked team in Texas comes to Globe Life Park in Arlington without the same distinguished past contributing at Alabama — but not because Duncanville isn’t rich with its own top-flight prospects. 

On the contrary, one of the nation’s other top-ranked tackles, Savion Byrd, lines up for the Panthers. His battles with IMG’s pass-rushers, including Dallas Turner, will be one of the most important pieces to shaping Saturday’s contest. 

Flip side, Latham gets to clash with a future member of the Crimson Tide in Duncanville linebacker Kendrick Blackshire. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Blackshire has a frame similar to IMG Academy-turned-Alabama star Dylan Moses. 

The more fierce the competition between Blackshire and the Latham-led Ascenders offensive line, the better for Crimson Tide fans. It’s like an A-Day come early.

Zac Thomas Defies Doubt On Way To The NFL

Zac Thomas

An audience of more than 100,000 rooting for you to fail isn’t the most welcoming way in which to start a new job. For Zac Thomas, these conditions set a fitting tone. 

After Pit Stop At Charlotte, Tre Harbison Is Ready For A Shot At The League

USATSI_15139933_168383134_lowres.jpg

Perhaps you have known someone, or are that someone, who wishes they took greater advantage of the learning opportunities college offers. Charlotte 49ers running back James “Tre” Harbison III, on the other hand, soaked up learning opportunities.  

How to Watch: 2021 Tropical Bowl

tropical.jpg

Here's how to watch the 2021 Tropical Bowl on FloFootball.

Ottawa's Dylan St. Pierre Ready For 2021 Tropical Bowl Opportunity

Ottawa wide receiver Dylan St. Pierre

On June 8, 2020, U SPORTS announced the cancellation of its fall sports season in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

10 Players To Watch At The 2021 Tropical Bowl

USATSI_13826647_168383134_lowres.jpg

In what has been a historic football season, the next step for dozens of players is taken at the 2021 Tropical Bowl. 

2021 SPIRAL Tropical Bowl Rosters Released

Greg McCrae

Players from all over the country will head to Florida this weekend (Sunday, Jan. 17) to compete in this year's 2021 SPIRAL Tropical Bowl. 

Ryan Day Looks To Become First CAA Alumnus To Win FBS Title As Head Coach

USATSI_14731848_168383134_lowres.jpg

Ryan Day’s last game as a college quarterback had playoff implications — just not for Day. 

CAA Signing Day Rundown: JMU & Elon Bring In Biggest Classes

Jaelin Montgomery

COVID-19’s impact on the college football landscape reached far beyond the postponement of the 2020 FCS season until the spring. The early-period National Signing Day underscores the point. 

Nasir Adderley's Big Year Continues In Los Angeles

Screen Shot 2020-11-17 at 11.09.21 AM.png

Former Delaware safety Nasir Adderley recorded a team-high eight tackles for the Los Angeles Chargers last Sunday, highlighting the group of CAA Football players competing during Week 10 of the NFL season.

'Authentic' Liam Dobson Enjoyed Viral Moment, Primed For Big '21

EZbVWyCWsAAQBKA.jpeg

It’s easy to understand why Liam Dobson became a social-media sensation this year.