IMG Academy is one of twelve Florida high school football teams in the 2017 High School Football America Preseason Top 100 that is created with our proprietary algorithm.
IMG, which is made-up from top players from around the country and is not eligible to participate in the Florida state playoffs will play nine teams ranked in the Top 100 this year — No. 10 Corona Centennial (California), No. 11 Chandler (Arizona), No. 25 East (Utah), No. 31 St. John’s College High School (Washington, D.C.), No. 49 Carol City (Florida), No. 58 St. Frances Academy (Maryland), No. 64 Bishop Sullivan (Virginia) and No. 83 Miami Northwestern (Florida).
The Ascenders feature two of the top eleven players in the nation in the Class of 2018, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. Clemson-recruit Xavier Thomas is the top defensive end in the nation and the No. 2 overall recruit. Like Thomas, defensive tackle Taron Vincent is a 5-star recruit. Vincent, who has given his verbal to Ohio State, is ranked as the No. 11 overall prospect in America.
Falling-in behind IMG is St. Thomas Aquinas at No. 14. The Raiders will find-out if they’re worthy of that ranking when they play preseason No. 1 St. John Bosco (California) at home on national television.
STA has an outstanding secondary led by 4-star prospect seniors Al Blades, Jr. and Asante Samuel, Jr. Blades, who will follow in his father (Al) and uncle’s (Brian) footsteps and play at the University of Miami (Florida), is considered the No. 84 overall prospect in the nation and the No. 12 cornerback.
Samuel, Jr. is the son of NFL Pro Bowler Asante Samuel, who won Super Bowls in his first two years with the New England Patriots and also picked-off 51 passes in his career. The younger Samuel, who has given his verbal to Florida State, is ranked right behind his team Blades as the No. 88 overall college football prospect in the nation and No. 13 cornerback.
Defending 4A champ Cocoa is the third highest rated team in Florida, coming-in at No. 33 in the Top 100. The Tigers will find-out on August 25 how good they are when they play four-time Class 3A champ Trinity Christian Academy, which is ranked No. 35 in the nation. These two met in the season opener last year on national TV with Cocoa coming away with a 26-23 win in overtime.
Trinity Christian will go after a state record fifth straight title this year, but the Conquerors have moved-up two classifications to 5A. Booker T. Washington, Miami Central, Suwannee and North Florida Christian are the only other schools to win four straight state titles.
Coming-in behind Cocoa and TCA is defending 5A champ American Heritage (Plantation) at No. 40. The Patriots finished No. 13 in the final 2016 High School Football America national rankings.
America Heritage opens with two straight games against nationally-ranked opponents — No. 64 Bishop Sullivan (Virginia) and No. 61 Liberty (Nevada). The Patriots will play its kick0ff classic against No. 98 Booker T. Washington, but that came doesn’t count toward either teams’ record and rankings, since it’s considered an exhibition game. In late September AH will play preseason No. 67 Chaminade-Madonna.
Rounding-out the rest of the Florida teams are: Armwood at No. 44, Carol City at No. 49, No. 63 Miami Central, No. 67 Chaminade-Madonna, No. 83 Northwestern, Plant at No. 94 and No. 98 Booker T. Washington.