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.
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
, Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.)
, Bingham (South Jordan, Utah)
, Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, Calif.)
, Episcopal (Bellaire)
, Lawrence Central (Indianapolis)
, Lincoln (Gahanna, Ohio)
, Northwestern (Miami)
, Parkway (Bossier City, La.)
, Oak Ridge (Conroe, Texas)
, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.)
, Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.)
and Westlake (Austin, Texas)
all had two selections.