Photo: Gordon Deloach/TexasHSFootball
LEWISVILLE, Texas — With Saturday’s power grab of 6-foot-5 and 270-pound offensive tackle Justin Osborne, IMG Academy continued to do to Texas what collegiate programs have done for years.
Lure its most intriguing talents out of state.
Osborne, a product of Flower Mound Marcus High School, announced his enrollment to the academy and subsequent goodbye to Texas via Twitter.
He holds a three-star rating in 247 Sports’ composite rankings and 13 scholarship offers from powers the likes of Big 12 Conference powerhouses Oklahoma and Texas Christian University and Big Ten and SEC heavyweights Michigan and Texas A&M . As a first-team 5-6A all-district selection in 2017, he helped the Marauders nearly tip the scales against playoff contenders Southlake Carroll on Oct. 20 (L. 35-21) and Euless Trinity on Nov. 10 (21-16).
Though he is the first Dallas-Forth Worth Metroplex athlete to make a move to the Bradenton, Florida-based prep institution this season, he is not the only to transfer in the last 48 months. Denton Guyer High School’s Noah Cain, formerly the No. 2 running back in the country transferred to IMG last year.
Joshua Moore (1) scores a touchdowns against Van Vleck during the Class 3A Division 1 Region 4 Semifinal at Legacy Stadium in Katy, TX.
IMG — formerly the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy and IMG Pendleton School — has only been in existence since 1987 and carried the “IMG Academy” title 1997, but the co-educational, college preparatory school for athletic students has lured thousands of non-Florida bred players in every sports to its shores. Some of those include Allen (TX) offensive lineman E.J. Ndoma-Ogar, King’s Academy (TN) offensive lineman Chris Akporoghene. Yoakum receiver Joshua Moore, and West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade running back T.J. Pledger.
Though Ndoma-Ogar and Moore — the latter helped the Bulldogs go 13-0 overall and 6-0 as District 14 champions en route to a berth in the UIL 3A Division I State Semifinal — eventually returned to their original schools, Osborne’s bolt for the popular destinations marks a disturbing trend that seems on the uptick for the Lone Star State.