By Robert Wilson
Jimothy Lewis, the No. 1 rated offensive tackle in the country in the Class of 2024, has left Madison-Ridgeland Academy and has transferred to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., according to Inside the Rebels, a publication of 247 Sports.
The 6-foot-5, 290-pound Lewis started at right offensive tackle last season for MRA, which won the MAIS Class 6A state championship for the third straight season.
Lewis is rated as the No. 2 player in Mississippi in the Class of 2024 by 247 Sports. He has offers from SEC schools Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt along with Power 5 schools Baylor, Florida State, Indiana, Miami, Memphis, Michigan, Michigan State and Group of 5 schools Alcorn State, Arkansas State, Florida A&M, Grambling State and Tennessee State, according to 247 Sports.
“It’s official,” Lewis said in a prepared statement sent to Inside the Rebels. “I will be attending IMG Academy for the rest of my high school career. I would like to thank everyone that has been a part of my journey. I ask that everyone continue to pray for me, as I have a lot of work to do going forward. I would like to thank MRA administration, staff, MRA family, MRA coaches and my teammates for all the support you have given me during my time at MRA. You have really been a blessing.”
Lewis transferred to MRA from Olde Towne Middle School, the feeder school for Ridgeland High, going into his freshman year and played on MRA’s varsity as a backup offensive tackle.
IMG (which stands for International Management Group) Academy is a preparatory boarding school and sports training destination for highly recruited athletes from across the country. The academy’s football program has been ranked in the Top 10 in the country for the past five seasons. The academy has several high school teams who play a national schedule.
IMG boasts that it is the world’s largest and most advanced multi-sport training and educational institution on its website (imgacademy.com). It was established in 1978 as the Bollettieri Tennis Academy and many tennis players from Mississippi have gone to school and improved their game there over the years. IMG now has more than 600 acres, and its sports programs include baseball, basketball, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, and track and field.
MRA’s leading rusher last season, rising sophomore Quincy Phillips, has transferred to MHSAA Class 6A runner-up Brandon High, considered one of the favorites to win 6A this fall. The 5-8, 175-pound Phillips – one of the top rising sophomore football players in Mississippi – gained 94 yards and scored three touchdowns in MRA’s 42-7 victory over Hartfield Academy in the 6A state title game last season. Phillips – who transferred from Greenville Weston High after his eighth-grade year – led MRA in rushing with 530 yards on 80 carries, an average of 6.6 yards per carry, and scored 12 TDs and shared time with four other running backs. He also caught 19 passes for 214 yards and two TDs this past season as a freshman.
MRA rising junior quarterback John White has verbally committed to Southern Miss. White, the first team quarterback on the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson team last season, completed 67.9 percent of his passes for 3,935 yards for 39 touchdowns and only 14 interceptions in 14 games for MRA last season. He transferred from Winona Christian School.
White isn’t the only Division I prospect for MRA. Four rising seniors, wide receiver Rivers Godwin, cornerback Noah Short, tight end Pax Hughes and offensive lineman Cole Parker, all have Division I offers. Godwin has offers from Navy and Alabama A&M, Hughes and Short from Alabama A&M and Park from Grambling, MRA coach Herbert Davis said.