BRADENTON (FOX 13) - They're known as the Ascenders -- a perfect name for a perfect program. IMG is one of a kind. The high school football program is filled with top talent from all over the world. The facilities are jaw-dropping; just ask the players what they like most about the school.
"Probably the facilities,” said Micah Abraham, son of former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Donnie Abraham. "It's the best in the world. It's better than some colleges. It might be better than some NFL. It's the best."
And it's expensive. Tuition at IMG to play high school football is $72,900. That includes everything: From sunup to sundown, it's a college schedule, starting at 6:45 in the morning and ending at 11 at night.
"It's very collegiate, like in the way that we are set up and the fact they have to be great at time management,” said Ascenders head coach Kevin Wright. "They really have to be grown-ups at a young age. It's not for everybody. You have to be very intrinsically motivated."
Quarterback Arthur Sitkowski gave up his senior year to transfer from New Jersey. It's quickly paid off with Division I offers. He's going to Miami.
"It was the hardest decision in my life,” said Sitkowski. "Leaving my best friends, my family, the coaches that I love. Ultimately it was just to get better. Become a better quarterback and become a better person. I want to become a better person and a better leader. This is the place for me. For me to be the best possible version of myself."
IMG has so much talent they will field two varsity teams this season. One to play a national schedule and one to play a Florida schedule. In four seasons, they've lost just three games. But the program is about more than just pumping out Division I players. There are 30 graduating seniors this year. All will play college football and 25 have earned full scholarships.
"It's not just D-I kids,” said Wright. "We've got kids going all over spectrum. So those are the guys that maybe get the most notoriety, but we've got kids going from Ivy League schools, West Point, all around. So we're proud of all our guys."
There are Florida high school coaches that refuse to schedule IMG. Some fear they will be blown out or that IMG will try to take their best players. But of the 80 players on the spring roster, only 10 are from Florida and just two from the Tampa Bay area.
"I think we have kids from 27 different states,” continued Wright. "We have kids from seven or eight different countries. It's quite a diverse locker room. It's neat to have guys that speak four or five different languages."
"Whenever you're doing well, people are looking for things like that,” Wright added. "We know who we are and what we do. We're proud of it."