BRADENTON, Fla. — Seven weeks into the high school football season, most players are hurt. That doesn’t mean that they’re injured.
IMG Academy coach Kevin Wright gave an impassioned speech on that subject at the conclusion of Tuesday’s practice, citing chunks of his conversation earlier in the week with LSU assistants Corey Raymond and Dameyune Craig after they stopped by.
The Ascenders are 7-0 and ranked No. 2 in the country among high school football powers, and one is the obvious reasons why is Grant Delpit.
The 4-star LSU safety commit is hours away from playing in his third game since spraining the AC joint in his left shoulder, but that has precluded him from any playing time on Friday nights or in practice.
“It’s been hard,” Delpit admitted to SEC Country. “It’s been limited contact in practice, but I’ve made myself practice.”
At IMG, you must practice in order to play. Like most elite recruits across the country, Delpit has been stellar when it comes to playing under the lights.
The 6-foot-4, 181-pound Louisiana native suffered the shoulder injury Oct. 13 in a 38-0 rout of Oxbridge Academy. Delpit played last week against Trinity Christian Academy and tried not to use his left shoulder … much.
“I took a hit in the Trinity game. It was terrible,” he laughed. “The doctors said it doesn’t get worse. You need rest to heal it, but I’m not going to rest until after the season.”
Delpit’s season will end later this fall or early in December after IMG’s playoff run, then he can treat his injury with the rest it requires.
It doesn’t hurt that he’s on the IMG campus, which includes state-of-the-art facilities unlike any other high school in the country.
Sandwiched between the academic center and fieldhouse is the Performance and Sports Science Center, which features a 10,000-square foot weight room, cold tubs, a training center and any other medical or rehabilitation resource a high school athlete could fathom.
Delpit receives daily treatment on his shoulder: putting pressure on it, icing it and receiving STEM treatment, which ensures the future Tiger is “game ready.”
“This is my hitting shoulder,” Delpit said, tapping his right shoulder. “I don’t hit with my left shoulder, so I’ll play through it. Honestly, it’s going to hurt, but you’ve got to play through it. It’s football.”
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.
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