College Sport

IMG Academy’s Pro Day: Scouting notes, recruiting scoop and more

BRADENTON, Florida – The IMG Academy held its annual Pro Day on Thursday night. The event may not have been as busy as in previous years (don’t worry, new talent will arrive in the coming months), but there was still a lot of blue chips running around and meeting the media.

We invite you inside the action below.


There were no 1v1s, but we didn’t need them to identify a clear alpha in Bradenton on Thursday, which was David Stone. The five-star guard and fourth overall in the class of 2024 simply moved differently from his peers, showing plenty of chances and lateral quickness.

The number of tests wasn’t available, but we’re willing to bet his short time on the shuttle was pretty good. He also posted what looked like an 8ft 11in long jump effort, which is pretty good.

Last fall, Stone shone as a junior, working in one of the country’s deepest defensive line rotations. The biggest sticking point for him will probably be his frame. He seems to have long arms, but he is not the widest inside defender. However, his ability to change direction and retreat is elite. And he has an outlet to put a lot of pressure on the middle on Saturdays.

As for the hiring, Stone confirmed to a crowd of reporters that he would be spending the upcoming weekend at Texas A&M. It will then reach Oklahoma on March 13 before returning to Michigan on March 14.

“There are still some schools that I like more than others,” Stone said when asked how things are going. “But when I come up, I know for sure that I need to get into LSU. This is one of my schools. For a long time when I was growing up, this was a dream school… Oregon is another school that I also want to attend.”

Stone added that he is also eyeing trips to Miami, Wisconsin, Washington and Florida.

In terms of official visits, it looks like the states of Michigan and Ohio are scheduled for June. This summer, Oklahoma may receive him on an official visit.

Steve Wiltfong has more on Stone and his top schools here.


There weren’t many new faces on Thursday, but Top247 wide receiver Jerra “Tank” Hawkins certainly a notable addition to the IMG Academy roster.

Hawkins reportedly ran a hand-timed 4.3 race at Ohio State last summer. Again, no official numbers were provided for Pro Day, but just about everyone watched as he took the sprint stance and both of his runs looked fast. He also mastered the three-cone exercise like a man who has spent the last two months training for the NFL Scouting Association.

The tiny bezel might put some off, but there’s no doubt that Hawkins’ speed is a game-changer. It will be interesting to see what role the Risings use him for this spring, as he’s the kind of playmaker you can create touches for with jet swipes and quick screens.

Hawkins, who won several gold medals on the track while he was in West Virginia, has received offers from both Miami and Florida in recent days. He plans to visit Pennsylvania in April. Wisconsin and Louisville are also in contact.

Jayden Jackson And Our Pepe two other new names from Thursday that caught our attention. Well, technically they’re not new as they got their Ascenders university photos last year, but they’ve been slightly overshadowed by some 12th graders on the IMG Academy roster.

Jackson is a powerful two-gap inside defender who can score cross-country lanes. Probably the most encouraging thing about his performance on Thursday is how he got to the east and west.

Pepe, on the other hand, is a 2026 offensive player prospect who didn’t take long to pick up momentum during a 40-yard dash. One would think that he would end up in the starting five of the national powerhouse.


Georgia five-star cornerback commits Ellis Robinson IV warmed up, but did not test and did not go through positional work. About a year ago, at the same event, he set up great markers, so it was completely understandable why he did not hit. Especially after he shared that he spent most of his junior season with a slightly torn meniscus that required surgery. We can add that he is firmly committed to the two-time reigning national champion.

Tennessee Top 247 athletes Jonathan Echols spent the night with a narrow and wide reception group. He continues to report that he considers himself the next level offensive player. Echols has a wide stride and can cover a lot of turf, but it can certainly be inferred that his ceiling could be the highest as a cornerback after seeing him dive and turn the corner during an L- exercises. He remains firm in his commitment, but has mentioned nearby USF as a school he recently interacted with. Apparently, this is where former Vols player Alex Golesh landed his first coaching job.

2025 Top247 wide receiver Winston Watkins Jr. already made two verbal commitments. The first one was at Texas A&M back in December 2021. The second was in Colorado last December, right after Deion Sanders was hired. When asked if another logo change was expected, Watkins was quick to respond. “Coach Prime is a big influence on me,” Watkins said. “When I grew up, my nickname [in the youth leagues] it was prime time. So why not? He’s that guy in Fort Myers.” Watkins had one of the best vertical jumps of the night and runs the routes nimbly. Another interesting nugget we learned from IMG Academy head coach Billy Miller is that he has quickly become somewhat of a locker room voice with the crop of 2023 talent now in college.


Jerrick Gibson – No. 1 runner in 2024 – Was restricted but participated in some training. Wiltfong, who tied Gibson for Texas at the 247Sports Crystal Ball, spoke about Gibson earlier this week for 247Sports and noted that both Gibson and his father hold the Longhorns in high regard due to assistant Tashard Choice. Gibson relayed the same message on Thursday. “He’s an amazing guy to be around,” Gibson said of Choice. “Only electricity. You can’t be sad next to him. He always educates you.” Gibson also shared that he is a big fan of Bijan Robinson. “That guy over there.”

Safety guard Top247 Jordon Johnson-Rubell also was away most of the night due to some kind of ailment. He plans to be in Texas next weekend and hopes to be in Ohio on March 25 and Michigan on March 26. Johnson-Rubell noted that all three schools have done a good job building relationships with him. The same goes for Alabama, TCU and USC. The solution is still quite far away. “Probably sometime in September,” he said when asked about the timeline for the commitments. “After my official visits in June.”

Syracuse is Power Five’s latest offering for three-star quarterback Jayden Bradford. He dealt with injuries as a junior, including a wrist injury, but was healthy enough to miss several routes on Thursday. Bradford hopes to visit Cincinnati (he spoke to the new hires when they were in Louisville), South Carolina and Penn State in the coming months. UAB can be a dark horse to watch out for when hiring, as he respects Trent Dilfer and is familiar with assistant Nick Coleman, who was previously an offensive analyst at Gamecocks (a program Bradford has been intimately involved with from the start). .

Eric Lee is going to hit the road starting March 9 for a tour of the schools. Notable stops for the three-star quarterback, who moved fairly well on Thursday, include: Penn State, Boston College and James Madison. “I keep my set open and just talk to a lot of coaches,” Lee said.


– Stone, Robinson IV, Gibson, Johnson-Rubell and Echols were invited to the Under Armor All-American Game at the conclusion of Pro Day. The event organizers also awarded Future 50 tickets to Pepe and the 2026 quarterback. Zeh Fortwho was excellent in reverse and demonstrated the ability to get in and out of breaks quickly. Mr. Giles this is another impressive security/angle of 2026.

– IMG Academy staff believe that the Top247 offensive line player Jimothy Lewis is just beginning to scratch the surface of its potential. He had his moments on Thursday and has a promising physique. On the defensive side of the ball, passing the rusher Dylon Worthen has been cited as the man who made the big move this offseason. He attacked the bags with some force.

Bud Elliot of 247Sports contributed to this report.


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