You may have heard of IMG Academy. The Florida-based boarding school consistently produces some of the best talent in high school football year in and year out.
Ravenwood will be taking on IMG Academy, the nation's top-ranked team in prep football, on nationally televised game that could have a lot of explosive plays.
“It’s an opportunity that many football teams don’t have a chance to get," said Ravenwood Coach Matt Daniels.
“There are a lot of student athletes that don’t get to go up against the number one team in the country or even on national television. A lot of our kids dream about getting an opportunity to play on that stage. We’re going to compete and try to play our brand of football.”
Just to set the table, there is plenty of Power 5 talent on both sides to go around.
For Ravenwood, there are the two standout seniors, tight end and Clemson commit Jake Briningstool, and Michigan commit Junior Colson who plays outside linebacker, among others.
For IMG Academy, you have another Michigan commit with JJ McCarthy as quarterback with a pair of Alabama commits in Jacorey Brooks at wide receiver and JC Latham at offensive tackle.
Ravenwood will be coming off of a two-game losing streak, while IMG Academy is currently undefeated after outscoring its past two opponents 97 to 20.
With many weapons on either side of the ball, Ravenwood coach Matt Daniels discussed how his team can slow down the Ascenders.
“Our guys need to try to not do too much," said Daniels. “I think if we play fundamental football. You know you can’t miss tackles against a team like IMG, you can’t have busted assignments. They’re a team that because of their athletes, because of their experience of playing at a high level, they’re gonna take advantage of that. I’m not saying with have to play flawless football, but we have to eliminate some of those mental mistakes.”
Ravenwood has already another out of state team as they took on Pulaski Academy from Little Rock, Ar. Pulaski Academy is known for their style of play that involves never punting the ball and using onside kicks on every kickoff.
Pulaski Academy is also one of two losses for Ravenwood this season (the Raptors won their first meeting last season). When asked about the possibility of scheduling more out of state games in the future Daniels said that it is a part of the plan.
“I’d love to," Daniels said. “I’d love to try and play different teams around the country. I think it’s good exposure not only for our program, but for the county. It’s a really opportunity for our area and for middle Tennessee.”
Ravenwood and IMG Academy will play at 8 p.m. Friday at RHS and on ESPNU.