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Take Two: Why aren't Florida programs having success at IMG?

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position

Trey Sanders
Trey Sanders (Nick Lucero/

AP TOP 25: What's happening in the Sunshine State?

Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling a handful of issues in the college football landscape. National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and a local expert from the network of team sites.


As of the 2018 recruiting class, 73 prospects have signed out of Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy but surprisingly the in-state powerhouses – Florida, Florida State and Miami – have not cleaned up.

The Gators have not signed a single player out of IMG and have no commits there in the 2019 class but five-star running back Trey Sanders is seriously considering them. Florida State has landed the signature of five IMG players. Miami has signed four.

That means only nine recruits out of 73 with offers have signed with the in-state Power Five programs and that’s not exactly great odds especially with Ohio State getting six. There’s a reason why Michigan practiced there last year.

So many of IMG’s best prospects come to the school from out-of-state and returning closer to home could be playing a factor as to why the Gators, Seminoles and Hurricanes are not having great success. Other recruits become more open to traveling the country for college after experiencing life away from home for a year or two.

Can the Florida schools start doing better at IMG?


“The reason is complicated. Most IMG players are from outside the state and, for high schoolers, I'm sure homesickness sets in. I think that leads to players wanting to go closer to home for college. There are exceptions, sure, but being comfortable is important to people and I'm not sure IMG players ever really get comfortable in Florida.”


“Florida schools are trying to get in there. A lot of the reason is because kids do come there and they’re not local. A lot of it is Florida hasn’t been winning lately. It’s one of those situations where fans expect IMG to be a feeder program for programs like Florida, Florida State and Miami and it’s just not happening.

“Florida needs to win more to change it and become more of a threat in the SEC. But when you have teams like Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and so on coming in and stealing those guys away that have been more successful recently on the field then you’re going to have trouble.”