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IMG Academy announces its 2012 spring recruits

IMG Academy football program trainee, Nelson Agholor featured on ESPN on National Signing Day
IMG Academy football program trainee, Nelson Agholor featured on ESPN on National Signing Day

Today IMG Academy announced 17 football trainees and 7 soccer student-athletes signed National Letters of Intent for the 2012-2013 season. Among the signees were five-star recruits and multiple-year IMG All-Madden Team selections Dante Fowler Jr., Nelson Agholor and Brian Poole Jr. All three players consistently trained at IMG Academy for the past two years under the direction of Heisman Trophy-winning and former NFL QB, Chris Weinke, and his staff of former NFL coaches. Fowler, one of the nation’s top defensive ends, will join the University of Florida, along with Poole, the nation’s #2-ranked cornerback, while receiver Agholor will head to USC. 

Said Poole in regards to how his experience at IMG helped prepare him for this next step: “I received everything I needed to be a better player while at the IMG Academy football program. The coaches and facilities are great, but most importantly you are competing against some of the best competition that can be offered. I learned a lot from my position coach there on how to better my game, and I will take that with me to [the University of] Florida.”

Several quarterbacks who train with Chris Weinke also announced their collegiate intentions this week. Among them is Trenton Miller, the senior transfer from western New York who moved to Florida last year solely to train under Weinke and play for nearby Palmetto High School. Miller, who had previously attended IMG Academy baseball program camps before partaking in a football equivalent and impressing Weinke with his natural talent at the QB position, credits Weinke with making his Division I dreams become a reality. Next season, Miller will join the USF Bulls. A featured list of football signees who train at IMG Academy follows this release.

Within the IMG Academy soccer program, seven student-athletes revealed their college selections: Ashley Lowdermilk – Charleston Southern University; Mary Katherine Bradley – Western Carolina University; Page Johnson – Texas A&M International University; Kate Pellegrino – Regis University; Gabby Watson – Georgia Southern University; Daniel Friedwald- Lafayette College; and Samantha Thomas – Duke University. Thomas, who started playing soccer at the age of three, is excited to begin her collegiate career at one of the nation’s leading academic institutions, where she will study environmental engineering: “My time at IMG Academy has readied me for the expectations of college. I will be ahead of other freshmen because of the training off and on the field that we go through here. I’m so excited for this next step.” This latest group of signees follows an impressive list of fall commits, which included U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin, who joined national women’s soccer power UNC this winter.

Featured list of IMG Academy football program trainees who signed NLI on February 1:

QUARTERBACKS – 
Steve Cluley – Wall Township, NJ (Wall HS) – signed with William & Mary College
2011 ALL-MADDEN Mini-Camp Offensive MVP; 2011 IMG All-Madden Team

Mike Fafaul – Baltimore, MD (Fork Union Military Academy) – Preferred Walk-on at UCLA
2011 IMG All-Madden Team

Trenton Miller – Palmetto, FL (Palmetto HS) – Preferred Walk-On at University of South Florida2010 ALL-MADDEN Mini-Camp Offensive Breakout Prospect; 2010 IMG All-Madden Team “Next Man-In”; 2011 IMG All-Madden Team “Honorable Mention”

WIDE RECEIVERS – 

Nelson Agholor – Tampa, FL (Berkeley Prep) – Signed with University of Southern California
2010 IMG All-Madden Team

Ricky Jones – Sarasota, FL (Booker HS) – Signed with Indiana University2010 KICKOFF WEEKEND Mini-Camp Offensive MVP; 2010 IMG All-Madden Team Selection; 2011 KICKOFF WEEKEND Mini-Camp Offensive MVP

Derek Hammann – Dyersville, IA – Preferred walk-on Iowa State University
2011 ALL-MADDEN Mini-Camp “Honorable Mention”IMG Academy football program Weekly Camper

TIGHT ENDS – 

Gus Walley – Leakesville, MS (Greene County HS) – Signed with Mississippi State
2011 ALL-MADDEN Mini-Camp Team Captain (Offense); 2011 IMG All-Madden Team

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN – 

Cordale Boyd – Memphis, TN (Ridgeway HS) – Signed with University of Arkansas
2011 IMG All-Madden Team

Iziah Sanders – Palmetto, FL (Palmetto HS) – Preferred Walk-On at University of South Florida
2010 IMG All-Madden Team; 2011 ALL-MADDEN Mini-Camp Offensive Big Man MVP; 2011 IMG All-Madden Team

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN – 

Dante Fowler Jr. – Saint Petersburg, FL (Lakewood HS) – Signed with University of Florida
2010 KICKOFF WEEKEND Mini-Camp Defensive Big Man MVP; 2010 IMG All-Madden Team

Evan Schwan – Harrisburg, PA (Central Dauphin HS) – Signed with Penn State University
2011 IMG All-Madden Team

Cole Wright – Fort Myers, FL (Evangelical Christian HS) – Signed with US Naval Academy
IMG Academy football program Weekly Camper

LINEBACKERS – 

Shakeel Rashad – Jacksonville, FL (Episcopal HS) – Signed with University of North Carolina
2011 ALL-MADDEN Mini-Camp Defensive MVP
2011 IMG All-Madden Team

Ryan Riedel – Huntington, WV (Cabell Midland HS) – Signed with Marshall2011 KICKOFF WEEKEND Mini-Camp Defensive MVP; 2011 ALL-MADDEN Mini-Camp Team Captain (Defense); 2011 IMG All-Madden Team “Honorable Mention”

DEFENSIVE BACKS – 

Brian Poole, Jr. – Bradenton, FL (Southeast HS) – Signed with University of Florida
2010 KICKOFF WEEKEND Mini-Camp Co-Defensive MVP; 2010 ALL-MADDEN Mini-Camp Defensive MVP; 2010 IMG All-Madden Team

Ezra Robinson – Sarasota, FL (Booker HS) – Signed with Michigan State University
2010 KICKOFF WEEKEND Mini-Camp Defensive Breakout Prospect
2011 KICKOFF Weekend Mini-Camp Co-Defensive MVP

KICKERS – 

Aleem Sunanon – Orlando, FL (Olympia HS) – Signed with South Alabama
Attended 2010 and 2011 KICKOFF WEEKEND and ALL-MADDEN Mini-Camps

About IMG Academy

IMG Academy, located in Bradenton, Fla., is the world’s largest and most advanced multi-sport training and education complex dedicated to developing the TOTAL ATHLETE™.  For more than 30 years, IMG Academy has helped countless youth, adult, collegiate and professional athletes reach their full potential in sport and life, by providing expert coaching, tailored programs and world-class facilities within an energetic environment across a 400-acre campus.

Today the campus attracts more than 20,000 athletes from 100 countries annually. The Academies consists of the IMG Academy Bollettieri tennis program, IMG Academy golf program, IMG Academy football program, IMG Academy baseball program, Basketball, Lacrosse and Soccer academies – all supported by the IMG Academy and Athletic & Personal Development program’s multi-faceted training disciplines. IMG Academy also conducts camps, clinics and events year-round, while providing support to teams and federations around the world. Find more info at www.imgacademy.com.   

Contact: Kim Berard, IMG Academy, kim.berard@imgworld.com, 941-752-2621

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