Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country
5-star RB Trey Sanders is one of a dozen Florida targets at IMG Academy.

Which 2019 prospect could end Florida’s recruiting drought at IMG Academy?

Zach Abolverdi

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Another recruiting class has passed and Florida still hasn’t signed a player from IMG Academy, a private boarding school and training facility in Bradenton, Fla.

IMG Academy fielded its first football team in 2013, and every year top recruits from around the country transfer to the school. However, the Gators have been unable to tap into that talent for five straight years.

Florida has landed a few verbal commitments from IMG Academy — defensive tackle Shavar Manuel and safety Spencer Perry in 2016, offensive lineman Curtis Dunlap in 2018 — but no signees so far.

Mullen and his staff have offered a dozen players from IMG Academy for the Class of 2019: 4-star quarterback David Baldwin, 5-star running backs Noah Cain and Trey Sanders, 4-star wide receiver Cameron Coleman, 4-star guards Deyavie Hammond, Evan Neal and Dontae Lucas,  3-star tackles Chris Akporoghene, Charles Turner and Antoine Whitner, 4-star linebacker Jaleel McRae, and 4-star safety Briton Allen.

I think Florida’s chances are best with the players from the Sunshine State: Sanders (Port Saint Joe), Hammond (Lakeland), Lucas (Miami), Neal (Okeechobee), McRae (New Smyrna Beach) and Allen (Orlando). They each list the Gators among their favorite teams and have been in contact with the new staff.

Of those six Sunshine State products, right now I would say Hammond is the most likely recruit to end Florida’s recruiting drought at IMG Academy. The 6-foot-4, 320-pound lineman is ranked the nation’s No. 3 guard and No. 39 overall prospect in the 247Sports composite.

Hammond de-committed from Alabama on Jan. 26 and Florida is considered one of his top schools. Offensive line is a position of need for the Gators in their 2019 class and Hammond would be a huge get for Mullen & Co.