IMG Academy always has a prospective Power Five caliber quarterback on the roster, and the next hand in Bradenton looks to be Jayden Bradford. The junior, currently named the nation’s No. 8 passer in the 2024 class by 247Sports, hails from South Carolina. He was a statewide selection in his sophomore year at Chapin, but decided to enroll in the national academy IMG Academy during the winter months in hopes of improving his game.

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“I’m just ready to go crazy this season,” Bradford told 247Sports last week. “We have done a good job this offseason and we will only get better. I am so excited”.

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When it comes to hiring, Bradford seems to be in no hurry to make a decision. Instead, he devotes most of his time to perfecting his craft in hopes of taking the nationally scheduled Ascenders to the MaxPreps title.

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“I think by the end of the season I will have the best group of schools,” said Bradford. “These will be the schools I really want to go to and the ones I really want to focus on. But right now I haven’t really made any decisions [about leaders].”

September 1 marks the time colleges can actually start recruiting in 2024, but Bradford and his team have already reached out to coaches/staff in Pennsylvania State, South Carolina, Louisville, NC State, Georgia, Baylor, Texas, LSU, and Miami . More schools are likely to be contacted in the coming months.

Bradford faced the Nittany Lions last weekend at Happy Valley during a temporary break in the NCAA dead period.

“They have some talented quarterbacks there. So if I went there, it would be a really good hall where I would have the opportunity to compete. And I love competition. I am always ready to work,” said Bradford. .

Gamecocks, who have hosted Bradford several times, are actually the 247Sports Crystal Ball leader for Bradford, although they do have a 2024 hand dedicated to Dante Reno.

“They already have a quarterback, but they told me they still like me and that I’m still interested,” Bradford explained. “But I don’t really care about the other recruits. If they still want to recruit me, that’s fine. But if not, then that’s what it is.”

The Cardinals have made a splash on their recruiting path in recent months and Bradford is actually linked to UL as assistant Josh Stepp coached Bradford’s sister while he was in high school rankings as director of athletics.

“I’m close with Coach Stepp and a lot of coaches,” said Bradford.

Bradford hasn’t recorded a single game day visit in the season, but said he wants to hit the road during the IMG Academy’s “farewell weeks” and see what he can do.

“I will try to visit as many schools as possible. Probably Baylor, Texas, LSU and South Carolina. Louisville too.

Bradford is listed at 6 feet, 180 pounds. Last fall hecompleted 64 percent of his passes for 2,028 yards and 22 touchdowns. Plus, the athlete also ran for 367 yards and five more points.