Great programs combine academics and sports. Smart colleges constantly target these programs for recruiting to reload their athletic arsenals. Student-athletes that are the products of these high school programs have been infused with academic responsibility as well as a physical work ethic, and this makes them an asset to any collegiate program. Week one quickly approaches for the high school football season, and it is a great time to review several programs that have gained the respect of the entire college football world as top programs. These programs pride themselves on winning in the classroom, on the field, and on the recruiting scene.
IMG– IMG academy is once again an overabundance of football talent. They come into the season with a total of 15 division one caliber athletes. The staff at IMG celebrate their astounding average of 87 percent of their athletes going to 4 year universities. Considering the size of their football team, a total of over 65 plus players, the IMG Ascenders have a lot to be proud about. Average GPA among its athletes? A very healthy 3.1 on a 4.0 scale. And considering that the classes they take are college prep classes, parents know that their pride and joy are getting some of the top football instruction and not getting an education based on basket weaving 101. It’s not surprising that college scouts find themselves camping around the IMG campus trying to nab as many of these great products as possible. –IMG
STA– St. Thomas Aquinas has become the envy of many coaches around the country and the model of a talent machine. The program not only reloads itself on a yearly basis, it also provides college programs with some of the top incoming freshmen that have been accustomed to contributing heavily in their early years. The program is a bragging piece for the state of Florida and is a constant front runner when the conversation of state representation for national competitions in football arise. And if academics seem priority number two for the Raider program, consider the fact that STA is known for its challenging courses and overall curriculm. Student-athletes are hit with the same course load as non-athletes which has sometimes raised concerns to potential Raiders incumbents but has placed twinkles of disciplined athlete expectedness in the eyes of college coaches. –STA
MC – The Caravan of Mt. Carmel has held its reputation as one of the most respected programs in the nation. It’s always a plus when your opponents have nothing but positive things to say about your establishment. The Caravan gets this and is a true pit stop whenever scouts trek through the midwest to shore up their respective programs. Mt. Carmel stresses discipline and respect amongst its student-athletes. This carries over when these young athletes are given the chance to further their careers on the next level, as many have been fortunate to do. Many college coaches, past and present, have been quoted as saying that athletes who come out of the Mt. Carmel program are some of the most prepared young men for the rigors of division one college sports. Not a bad legacy to carry as a coach or player in any program. –MC
SJB – St. John Bosco’s program is reknown for its tough discipline and academic requirements. Student-athletes are kept under a microscope and held to extremely high behavior standards by the coaching and administrative staff. It is contantly pressed upon the athletes to carry a 3.0 plus GPA and they are regulated to the concept of “grades before sports” ideal. Considered one of the best private schools for academics and sports on the west coast, the St. John Bosco program has and will continue to be a mainstay for reloading top college programs. –SJB