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2021 NFL Draft: IMG Academy breaks high school record with seven former players selected - HIGHSCORE
2021 NFL Draft: IMG Academy breaks high school record with seven former players selected
Coming off a 2020 national championship crowned by MaxPreps, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) added another impressive feat once the 2021 NFL Draft concluded in Cleveland. They had seven players selected breaking the record for most picks by a high school in a single draft. 

The selection of tight end Tre' McKitty by the Los Angeles Chargers late the third round gave IMG Academy its fifth former player, breaking the previous mark of four.

The Ascenders had two more players selected during the final day of the draft when the Kansas City Chiefs selected defensive end Joshua Kaindoh with the last pick of the fourth round at No. 144. Long snapper Thomas Fletcher was taken by the Carolina Panthers in the sixth round with the 222nd pick.

The previous record was four set by the same Ascenders (in 2020) and St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) in 2014.

Cornerback Greg Newsome II started IMG's run on Thursday with his selection by the Cleveland Browns in the first round (26th pick overall). The rest of the Ascenders went in the third round on Friday. 

The Jacksonville Jaguars selected defensive back Andre Cisco with the first pick at No. 65 and Minnesota promptly went after quarterback Kellen Mond at No. 66. Defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay chose offensive guard Robert Hainsey at No. 95 and McKitty finished things off Friday for the Ascenders at No. 97.
Quarterback Kellen Mond was one of four former IMG Academy players selected during the second day of the 2021 NFL Draft on Friday.
File photo by Louis Lopez
Quarterback Kellen Mond was one of four former IMG Academy players selected during the second day of the 2021 NFL Draft on Friday.
Cisco, Fletcher, Hainsey, Kaindoh, McKitty and Mond all played on IMG Academy's 2016 team that went 11-0 and finished No. 3 in the MaxPreps national Top 25. The Ascenders had notable wins that season against Grayson (Loganville, Ga.), Long Beach Poly (Calif.), St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) and St. John's (Washington, D.C.), but their biggest victory came in California, 50-49, against Centennial (Corona) in one of the best high school football games over the last decade.

Cisco and Newsome were part of the 2017 IMG team that went 9-0 and finished No. 2 in the nation. Over the last three drafts, 13 former Ascenders have had their names called at the draft, including Grant Delpit, KJ Hamler, K.J. Osborne and Cesar Ruiz, all in 2020, after Hjalte Froholdt and Isaac Nauta were picked in 2019.

American Heritage (Plantation) finished the draft with the second most selections of all-time with six.

Patrick Surtain II was the first player selected from Florida at No. 9 overall by the Denver Broncos. Tyson Campbell went to Jacksonville at No. 33 and Cleveland selected Anthony Schwartz at No. 91. Marco Wilson became the third defensive back from the Patriots selected in the fourth round by the Arizona Cardinals at No. 136. Tedarrell Slaton was selected in the fifth round and Khalil Herbert went in round six.

National power St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) was the only other school with at least three players selected. Elijah Moore and Asante Samuel Jr. were both taken in the second round while Josh Palmer went in round three. The Raiders entered the 2020 season with most high school alums on NFL rosters with 11. 

2021 NFL Draft: Trevor Lawrence one of six former Georgia high school players in first round - HIGHSCORE
2021 NFL Draft: Trevor Lawrence one of six former Georgia high school players in first round
For more than a decade, Georgia's reputation as a high school football hot bed has been gaining on the big three of Florida, Texas and California. On Thursday night, the Peach State surpassed all three during the first night of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Six former Georgia prep standouts, including No. 1 overall selection, Trevor Lawrence, of Cartersville, were picked in the first round to lead all states.

Florida, which didn't have a selection until ninth pick in Patrick Surtain II, of American Heritage (Plantation), had the second most represented with five selections, followed by California, Texas and Louisiana, which each had three.

Utah had two of the first seven picks, headlined by No. 2 overall selection Zach Wilson, of Corner Canyon (Draper). Pennsylvania was the only other state with multiple picks.

Since the turn of the century, Georgia boasts 48 first-round picks and is right on the heels of California (49) for third place behind only Florida (81) and Texas (61).

Rhode Island, thanks to the Colts' No. 21 selection of defensive end Kwity Paye, of Bishop Hendricken (Warwick), was represented in the first round for the first time since at least 2000.

2021 NFL Draft First Round 

No. Player, Position, High School, Picked By

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Cartersville (Ga.), Jaguars
2. Zach Wilson, QB, Corner Canyon (Draper, Utah), Jets
3. Trey Lance, QB, Marshall (Minn.), 49ers
4. Kyle Pitts, TE, Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.), Falcons
5. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, Archbishop Rummel (Metairie, La.), Bengals
6. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Episcopal (Bellaire, Texas), Dolphins
7. Penei Sewell, OT, Desert Hills (St. George, Utah), Lions
8. Jaycee Horn, CB, Alpharetta (Ga.), Panthers
9. Patrick Surtain II, CB, American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.), Broncos
10. Devonta Smith, WR, Amite (La.), Eagles
11. Justin Fields, QB, Harrison (Kennesaw, Ga.), Bears
12. Micah Parsons, LB, Harrisburg (Pa.), Cowboys
13. Rashawn Slater, OT, Fort Bend Clements (Sugar Land, Texas), Chargers
14. Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG, Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, Calif.), Jets
15. Mac Jones, QB, Bolles (Jacksonville, Fla.), Patriots
16. Zaven Collins, LB, Hominy (Okla.), Cardinals
17. Alex Leatherwood, OT, Booker T. Washington (Pensacola, Fla.), Raiders
18. Jaelan Phillips, DE, Redlands East Valley (Redlands, Calif.), Dolphins
19. Jamin Davis, LB, Long County (Ludowici, Ga.), Washington Football Team
20. Kadarius Toney, WR, Blount (Eight Mile, Ala.), Giants
21. Kwity Paye, DE, Bishop Hendricken (Warwick, R.I.), Colts
22. Caleb Farley, CB, Maiden (N.C.), Titans
23. Christian Darrisaw, OT, Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.), Vikings
24. Najee Harris, RB, Antioch (Calif.), Steelers
25. Travis Etienne, RB, Jennings (La.), Jaguars
26. Greg Newsome II, CB, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), Browns
27. Rashod Bateman, WR, Tift County (Tifton, Ga.), Ravens
28. Payton Turner, DE, Westside (Houston, Texas), Saints
29. Eric Stokes, CB, Eastside (Covington, Ga.), Packers
30. Gregory Rousseau, DE, Champagnat Catholic (Hialeah, Fla.), Bills
31. Jayson Oweh, DE, Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.), Ravens
32. Joe Tryon, DE, Hazen (Renton, Wash.), Buccaneers
2021 NFL Draft: High school football powerhouse IMG Academy projected to have seven players selected - HIGHSCORE
2021 NFL Draft: High school football powerhouse IMG Academy projected to have seven players selected
During the 2020 NFL Draft, national high school football power IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) became the first prep program since 2014 to have four players selected. The Ascenders could potentially double that in 2021, according to Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports.


All but Newsome played together during the 2016 season when the Ascenders went 11-0 and had notable wins over Centennial (Corona, Calif.), Grayson (Loganville, Ga.), Long Beach Poly (Long Beach, Calif.), St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) and St. John's (Washington, D.C.). They finished the year ranked No. 3 in the MaxPreps Top 25.

Cisco and Newsome were part of IMG's 2017 team that went 9-0 and finished ranked No. 2 in the MaxPreps Top 25.
Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond is one of seven former IMG Academy players who could hear their name called this weekend as part of the NFL Draft.
Photo by Mike Janes
Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond is one of seven former IMG Academy players who could hear their name called this weekend as part of the NFL Draft.
No less impressive is American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.), which has five players going in Wilson's mock draft. The Patriots' potential draft haul is led by Patrick Surtain II, who Wilson predicts will go No. 9 to the Denver Broncos. Joining Surtain are Tyson Campbell, Khalil Herbert, Anthony Schwartz and Marco Wilson.

Campbell, Surtain and Wilson gave the Patriots the best secondary in the country during the 2016 season and led Heritage to a 14-0 record, Class 5A state title and a spot at No. 10 in the final MaxPreps Top 25.

The following season, Campbell, Schwartz and Surtain led American Heritage to its second consecutive 5A state championship and a spot at No. 4 in the final MaxPreps Top 25 after going 14-0.

St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) has had more players selected than any other high school over the last 20 years with 23 taken and Wilson's mock draft predicts there will be four more in the 2021 draft — Trevon Grimes, Elijah Moore, Josh Palmer and Asante Samuel Jr.

All four played together during the 2016 season when Aquinas went 13-2 and finished the year ranked No. 6 after winning the 7A state title.

Episcopal (Bellaire, Texas) has three players slated to be taken led by Jaylen Waddle — slotted to go sixth overall by the Miami Dolphins. Walker Little and Marvin Wilson are expected to also hear their names called. Little and Wilson were part of the Class of 2017 while Waddle was a year behind them and they went 9-2 during the 2016 season.

2021 NFL Draft: IMG Academy breaks high school record with seven former players selected - HIGHSCORE
2021 NFL Draft: IMG Academy breaks high school record with seven former players selected
Coming off a 2020 national championship crowned by MaxPreps, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) added another impressive feat once the 2021 NFL Draft concluded in Cleveland. They had seven players selected breaking the record for most picks by a high school in a single draft. 

The selection of tight end Tre' McKitty by the Los Angeles Chargers late the third round gave IMG Academy its fifth former player, breaking the previous mark of four.

The Ascenders had two more players selected during the final day of the draft when the Kansas City Chiefs selected defensive end Joshua Kaindoh with the last pick of the fourth round at No. 144. Long snapper Thomas Fletcher was taken by the Carolina Panthers in the sixth round with the 222nd pick.

The previous record was four set by the same Ascenders (in 2020) and St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) in 2014.

Cornerback Greg Newsome II started IMG's run on Thursday with his selection by the Cleveland Browns in the first round (26th pick overall). The rest of the Ascenders went in the third round on Friday. 

The Jacksonville Jaguars selected defensive back Andre Cisco with the first pick at No. 65 and Minnesota promptly went after quarterback Kellen Mond at No. 66. Defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay chose offensive guard Robert Hainsey at No. 95 and McKitty finished things off Friday for the Ascenders at No. 97.
Quarterback Kellen Mond was one of four former IMG Academy players selected during the second day of the 2021 NFL Draft on Friday.
File photo by Louis Lopez
Quarterback Kellen Mond was one of four former IMG Academy players selected during the second day of the 2021 NFL Draft on Friday.
Cisco, Fletcher, Hainsey, Kaindoh, McKitty and Mond all played on IMG Academy's 2016 team that went 11-0 and finished No. 3 in the MaxPreps national Top 25. The Ascenders had notable wins that season against Grayson (Loganville, Ga.), Long Beach Poly (Calif.), St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) and St. John's (Washington, D.C.), but their biggest victory came in California, 50-49, against Centennial (Corona) in one of the best high school football games over the last decade.

Cisco and Newsome were part of the 2017 IMG team that went 9-0 and finished No. 2 in the nation. Over the last three drafts, 13 former Ascenders have had their names called at the draft, including Grant Delpit, KJ Hamler, K.J. Osborne and Cesar Ruiz, all in 2020, after Hjalte Froholdt and Isaac Nauta were picked in 2019.

American Heritage (Plantation) finished the draft with the second most selections of all-time with six.

Patrick Surtain II was the first player selected from Florida at No. 9 overall by the Denver Broncos. Tyson Campbell went to Jacksonville at No. 33 and Cleveland selected Anthony Schwartz at No. 91. Marco Wilson became the third defensive back from the Patriots selected in the fourth round by the Arizona Cardinals at No. 136. Tedarrell Slaton was selected in the fifth round and Khalil Herbert went in round six.

National power St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) was the only other school with at least three players selected. Elijah Moore and Asante Samuel Jr. were both taken in the second round while Josh Palmer went in round three. The Raiders entered the 2020 season with most high school alums on NFL rosters with 11. 

2021 NFL Draft: Trevor Lawrence one of six former Georgia high school players in first round - HIGHSCORE
2021 NFL Draft: Trevor Lawrence one of six former Georgia high school players in first round
For more than a decade, Georgia's reputation as a high school football hot bed has been gaining on the big three of Florida, Texas and California. On Thursday night, the Peach State surpassed all three during the first night of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Six former Georgia prep standouts, including No. 1 overall selection, Trevor Lawrence, of Cartersville, were picked in the first round to lead all states.

Florida, which didn't have a selection until ninth pick in Patrick Surtain II, of American Heritage (Plantation), had the second most represented with five selections, followed by California, Texas and Louisiana, which each had three.

Utah had two of the first seven picks, headlined by No. 2 overall selection Zach Wilson, of Corner Canyon (Draper). Pennsylvania was the only other state with multiple picks.

Since the turn of the century, Georgia boasts 48 first-round picks and is right on the heels of California (49) for third place behind only Florida (81) and Texas (61).

Rhode Island, thanks to the Colts' No. 21 selection of defensive end Kwity Paye, of Bishop Hendricken (Warwick), was represented in the first round for the first time since at least 2000.

2021 NFL Draft First Round 

No. Player, Position, High School, Picked By

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Cartersville (Ga.), Jaguars
2. Zach Wilson, QB, Corner Canyon (Draper, Utah), Jets
3. Trey Lance, QB, Marshall (Minn.), 49ers
4. Kyle Pitts, TE, Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.), Falcons
5. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, Archbishop Rummel (Metairie, La.), Bengals
6. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Episcopal (Bellaire, Texas), Dolphins
7. Penei Sewell, OT, Desert Hills (St. George, Utah), Lions
8. Jaycee Horn, CB, Alpharetta (Ga.), Panthers
9. Patrick Surtain II, CB, American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.), Broncos
10. Devonta Smith, WR, Amite (La.), Eagles
11. Justin Fields, QB, Harrison (Kennesaw, Ga.), Bears
12. Micah Parsons, LB, Harrisburg (Pa.), Cowboys
13. Rashawn Slater, OT, Fort Bend Clements (Sugar Land, Texas), Chargers
14. Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG, Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, Calif.), Jets
15. Mac Jones, QB, Bolles (Jacksonville, Fla.), Patriots
16. Zaven Collins, LB, Hominy (Okla.), Cardinals
17. Alex Leatherwood, OT, Booker T. Washington (Pensacola, Fla.), Raiders
18. Jaelan Phillips, DE, Redlands East Valley (Redlands, Calif.), Dolphins
19. Jamin Davis, LB, Long County (Ludowici, Ga.), Washington Football Team
20. Kadarius Toney, WR, Blount (Eight Mile, Ala.), Giants
21. Kwity Paye, DE, Bishop Hendricken (Warwick, R.I.), Colts
22. Caleb Farley, CB, Maiden (N.C.), Titans
23. Christian Darrisaw, OT, Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.), Vikings
24. Najee Harris, RB, Antioch (Calif.), Steelers
25. Travis Etienne, RB, Jennings (La.), Jaguars
26. Greg Newsome II, CB, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), Browns
27. Rashod Bateman, WR, Tift County (Tifton, Ga.), Ravens
28. Payton Turner, DE, Westside (Houston, Texas), Saints
29. Eric Stokes, CB, Eastside (Covington, Ga.), Packers
30. Gregory Rousseau, DE, Champagnat Catholic (Hialeah, Fla.), Bills
31. Jayson Oweh, DE, Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.), Ravens
32. Joe Tryon, DE, Hazen (Renton, Wash.), Buccaneers