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Unlike past years, IMG prospects not heading to SEC schools in 2018

IMG Academy
COURTESY OF IMG ACADEMY

Monday night’s announcement that Kingston Harris is heading for Tennessee marks a rarity in the 2018 class: an elite prospect from IMG Academy going to the SEC.

By now, fans are used to seeing the name of IMG, located in Bradenton, Fla., appear over and over on the lists of elite national recruits. Of the top 200 recruits in the state of Florida in the 247Sports composite rankings, 20 play at IMG.

But just where are all of those players going? Very often, not the SEC.

Even though the school is located deep in SEC territory, players are most often committing elsewhere in the country. In theory, that’s not a surprise, considering that IMG draws so many of its players from well outside the state.

Minnesota, Rutgers and Syracuse – yes, Minnesota, Rutgers and Syracuse – have more elite IMG commits in 2018 than any SEC program.

That’s a change from past seasons, when SEC teams have regularly attracted their share of IMG’s best. In the 2017 class, for example, Alabama signed five-star linebacker Dylan Moses, LSU nabbed four-star safety Grant Delpit and Texas A&M picked up the quarterback-receiver pair of Kellen Mond and Jhamon Ausbon from the school.

RELATED: More recruiting news from GN

With the countdown to the early signing period now hours away instead of days, here’s a look at the top 20 IMG Academy players in the 2018 class, along with their commitment status (if declared).

5-star DE Xavier Thomas
Ranking: No. 1 in Florida
Commitment: Committed to Clemson since April 2017.

4-star CB Brendan Radley-Hiles
Ranking: No. 9 in Florida
Commitment: Uncommitted; former Nebraska commit has taken official visits to Clemson, Florida State, Oklahoma and UCLA.

4-star CB Houston Griffith
Ranking: No. 14 in Florida
Commitment: Committed to Notre Dame since December 2017.

4-star DE Stephon Wynn
Ranking: No. 15 in Florida
Commitment: Committed to Alabama since July 2017.

4-star RB T.J. Pledger
Ranking: No. 18 in Florida
Commitment: Committed to Oklahoma since March 2017.

4-star LB Ayodele Adeoye
Ranking: No. 21 in Florida
Commitment: Committed to Texas since June 2017.

4-star WR Brian Hightower
Ranking: No. 32 in Florida
Commitment: Committed to Miami since March 2017.

4-star G Curtis Dunlap
Ranking: No. 34 in Florida
Commitment: Committed to Minnesota since December 2017.

4-star LB Mike Jones Jr.
Ranking: No. 37 in Florida
Commitment: Committed to Clemson since June 2016.

4-star QB Artur Sitkowski
Ranking: No. 44 in Florida
Commitment: Committed to Rutgers since November 2017.

RELATED: A quick by-the-numbers look at recruiting in the SEC footprint

4-star C Verdis Brown
Ranking: No. 60 in Florida
Commitment: Uncommitted; former Florida State commit has taken official visits to Missouri, Illinois and Minnesota.

3-star G Daniel Faalele
Ranking: No. 73 in Florida
Commitment: Committed to Minnesota since December 2017.

3-star G Reuben Unije
Ranking: No. 75 in Florida
Commitment: Committed to Illinois since December 2017.

3-star WR Jalen Jordan
Ranking: No. 87 in Florida
Commitment: Committed to Rutgers since December 2017.

3-star DT T.K. Chimedza
Ranking: No. 90 in Florida
Commitment: Committed to Georgia Tech since June 2017.

3-star CB Greg Newsome
Ranking: No. 93 in Florida
Commitment: Committed to Northwestern since April 2017.

3-star DT Josh Walker
Ranking: No. 119 in Florida
Commitment: Uncommitted; formerly committed to Arizona.

3-star S Andre Cisco
Ranking: No. 145 in Florida
Commitment: Committed to Syracuse since December 2017.

3-star ILB Juan Wallace
Ranking: No. 164 in Florida
Commitment: Committed to Syracuse since May 2017.

3-star DT Kingston Harris
Ranking: No. 176 in Florida
Commitment: Committed to Tennessee since December 2017.

RELATED: Where each SEC team should’ve finished, relative to its recruiting rankings

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