BRADENTON, Fla. — IMG Academy has long been known as a national football powerhouse by attracting four and five-star talent from around the nation. But, IMG has outdone itself with last week’s NFL Draft.
According to the NCAA, 1.6 percent of college football players make it to the NFL.
This makes this stat even more impressive: IMG Academy had seven players selected in the 2021 NFL Draft, breaking the record for most picks by a high school in a single draft.
“It’s definitely unique,” IMG special teams coordinator Billy Miller told ABC Action News sports anchor Kyle Burger “When kids come here they have a vision of playing on Saturdays. When they get here, we embrace you can play on Sundays too if you buy into the program. IMG prepares everyone for the college experience, time management, daily routines from academics to campus life.”
For context, a total of 229 high schools contributed to the 259 players selected in the seven rounds of the April 29-May 1 Draft.
The seven IMG Academy alumni drafted stacks up with the top college programs. The University of Alabama and Ohio State tied with 10 players drafted each. IMG is right there with LSU’s seven.
“You’re getting some of the best coaching you can get in the country,” IMG defensive line coach Ernie Logan said. “A lot of these coaches here have NFL-level experience. When you are getting coached like that it helps prepare you for the next level. You’re already going into college ahead of the game.”
Greg Newsome II, a cornerback from Northwestern, started IMG’s run of players in the first round.
- Greg Newsome: CB, Round 1, Pick #26s - Cleveland Browns
- Andre Cisco: DB, Round 2, Pick #1 - Jacksonville Jaguars
- Kellen Mond: QB, Round 2, Pick #2 - Minnesota Vikings
- Robert Hainsey: OG, Round 3, Pick #32 - Tampa Buccaneers
- Tre' McKitty: TE, Round 3, Pick #34 - Los Angeles Chargers
- Joshua Kaindoh, DE, Round 4, Pick #39 - Kansas City Chiefs
- Thomas Fletcher: LS, Round 6, Pick #38 - Carolina Panthers
The previous record for a single draft was four players, which was held by IMG in 2020.
“You have to be laser-focused in your thoughts and you got to be intentional and you got to know your expectations of coming here,” Logan added. “This is a different place. This is not a normal high school.”
“We have a lot of really good players here,” Miller said. “When they come here and compete against the best players in the country day in and day out, they kind of separate themselves. When they get into college they are used to competition. When they are freshmen and step on campus they are ready to play at the highest level.”
With six five-star players on this year’s IMG roster, the NFL talent won’t slow down anytime soon.
“There’s no surprise when these guys get their name called in the draft,” Logan said. “There’s no surprise because you are getting that coaching here at IMG.”