College Sports

Here’s where IMG Academy’s 2019 class would be if included in college recruiting rankings

IMG Academy’s Trey Sanders is the No. 1-rated running back recruit for the 2019 class.
IMG Academy’s Trey Sanders is the No. 1-rated running back recruit for the 2019 class. Bradenton

IMG Academy is a football factory, providing a glimpse to what college football will be like for anyone that attends the private school in Bradenton, Florida.

There are elite prospects all over the place every year. The quarterback position, for example, had a run of Deondre Francois, Shea Patterson and Kellen Mond in successive seasons.

Francois was recently dismissed from Florida State’s football program for an alleged domestic violence incident, while Patterson is Michigan’s starting quarterback and Mond is Texas A&M’s starting quarterback.

Aside from the signal-callers, IMG has boasted the top defensive end the past two seasons with Xavier Thomas, who played for Clemson’s national championship team as a freshman, and Nolan Smith, who signed with Georgia in December. In Smith’s case, he’s the consensus No. 1 recruit in the country, according to the 247 Sports’ composite rankings.

Simply put, there’s no shortage of talent around IMG Academy’s football program, no matter the position.

But how does IMG’s senior class in 2019 compare to the recruiting rankings for college programs now that National Signing Day has passed?

SB Nation answered that burning question.

Using the 247 Sports’ class ranking calculator, the 23 players from IMG that signed letters of intent for a scholarship with college program would generate a 260.75 ranking, if they all signed with the same school.

That would put IMG’s 2019 class as the 15th best in the nation, slotting the Ascenders ahead of Notre Dame, Florida State and other programs.

Only the University of Florida would boast a better class, based on recruiting rankings, than IMG among Florida college football programs.

Here’s where IMG’s 23 prospects landed this year (one per school, unless noted):


Alabama (two players)

Penn State

Florida State (two players)


Arkansas (two players)








Appalachian State






Robert Morris

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Sports reporter Jason has covered high school, college and pro sports since joining the Bradenton Herald in 2010. He’s won Florida Press Club awards for sports feature and column writing. He currently writes college and pro sports stories for the McClatchy East Region real-time team.