2021 NFL Draft: IMG Academy breaks high school record with seven former players selected

Zack Poff | MaxPreps.com Saturday, May 1, 2021 3:30pm

Greg Newsome II, Kellen Mond, Robert Hainsey among seven selected from IMG.

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.