BRADENTON, Fla. — Local high school football powerhouse IMG Academy played a record-setting part in the 2021 NFL Draft. As first reported by MaxPreps, the school saw seven former players selected in the draft, an all-time draft record.
The school’s record-setting run in the NFL Draft started on the first night when Northwestern University cornerback, and IMG alum, Greg Newsome II was selected by the Cleveland Browns with the 26th pick of the first round. Newsome is expected to compete for a starting job immediately in Cleveland. While a senior at IMG, he intercepted two passes and had 15 pass breakups. His selection helped the Browns draft class be rated as one of 2021’s best.
But it was the third round where IMG saw multiple former players come off the board. The Jacksonville Jaguars chose safety Andre Cisco with the 65th pick. Cisco finished his career at Syracuse with 136 total tackles and 13 interceptions over three years. IMG didn’t have to wait long for their next alum come off the board as Minnesota went on the clock with the 66th pick.
The Vikings selected Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond who led IMG to an undefeated season in 2017. While at IMG, Mond threw for 1,803 yards, 19 touchdowns, and three interceptions. He went on to successfully lead Texas A&M to new heights while throwing for nearly 10,000 yards, 71 touchdowns and 27 interceptions over a four-year career.
Continuing the third-round run, our Buccaneers took guard Robert Hainsey with the 95th pick in the draft. The IMG product played at Notre Dame as an offensive tackle and should kick inside to help provide much-needed depth along the Bucs line. Hainsey was also a 2020 second-team All-ACC selection helping the Irish to the College Football Playoff. Just two picks later, IMG broke the record for high school players in a single draft when the L.A. Chargers selected tight end Tre’ McKitty out of Georgia.
IMG wasn’t done though as Florida State defensive end, and IMG alum, Joshua Kaindoh was picked at number 144 and then Alabama long-snapper Thomas Fletcher was selected by the Panthers in the sixth round.
Speaking of the Crimson Tide, while IMG Academy set a record for number of former players drafted as a high school; Alabama set the record for number of players drafted in one year with 10 former players picked in the 2021 NFL Draft.