Fall Sports · Football

Gators kick IMG door down, land ESPN 300 guard

Florida lands a commit, and McElwain has finally gotten into the IMG Academy

Photo courtesy of scout.com.

The Florida Gators gained a huge commitment from an ESPN 300 prospect on Tuesday, just three days before the annual recruiting event, Friday Night Lights.  

Curtis Dunlap, Jr is a 6-5, 368 lb 4-star offensive guard from the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida and announced his commitment to play at UF via Twitter.  

Dunlap is ranked #122 in the ESPN 300 and is the #27 overall prospect in the state of Florida. 

Dunlap had a whose who of offers from many of the top programs in the country including in-state rivals Florida State and Miami.  

Dunlap is the ninth prospect to commit to Florida for the 2018 class. 

Check his sophomore highlight reel at the bottom of this post courtesy of ESPN.

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Getting a foot in the door at the IMG Academy

While adding a commitment from a 4-star prospect before Friday Night Lights is a big deal, the bigger deal is where he came from. For the first time under Jim McElwain, the Gators have secured the commitment of a IMG prospect. 

IMG Academy is a college preparatory school in Bradenton that attracts some of the best athletes in the world. 

Despite only having a football team since 2013, it has quickly been established as the best football program in the country.  

But how good are they?  In January 2017 SB Nation did the math and found out that if you only took the 2017 ratings of the IMG players, they would have accounted for the #5 overall recruiting class.

Tennessee head coach Butch Jones made headlines in February 2016 by offering more than 20 IMG prospects a scholarship on the same visit. 

In 2016, the school produced eight of the top-50 prospects in the state of Florida. In 2017, that number increased to ten. 

Unfortunately, despite being only 174 miles away, Florida was unable to land any IMG prospects. 

In 2018, eleven IMG prospects made the Florida top-50, and while many are committed to other schools, Florida now has it’s foot in the door. 

Curtis Dunlap Jr’s sophomore highlight reel, courtesy of ESPN:

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