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Prep Sports Report

Bob Putnam, Rodney Page, Kelly Parsons

Wiregrass Ranch's Shamaur McDowell transfers to IMG

Shamaur McDowell at practice this spring.

Tampa Bay Times

Shamaur McDowell at practice this spring.



Less than two weeks after committing to Minnesota, Shamaur McDowell made another big decision.

On Tuesday, the senior defensive back said he was transferring from Wiregrass Ranch to IMG Academy.

“My parents and I felt like it was the best decision,” McDowell said. “It will allow me to focus on being the best student-athlete I can be. It will also prepare me for the next stage in my life.”

McDowell (5-foot-11, 184 pounds) is a three-star recruit who is ranked among the top 215 players in the state’s 2018 class by 247Sports. He is the second bay area player to transfer to IMG this offseason, joining former Clearwater Central Catholic tight end Dane Saltarelli.

IMG raised its profile in the program’s first few seasons thanks to an influx of bay area standouts. Two years ago, the Ascenders had five locals on the roster, all of whom signed with major Division I-A programs.

The program now recruits nationally after becoming one of the best in the country. Last season, IMG had just one area player on the roster: Tre McKitty (Wesley Chapel/Tampa Catholic).

McDowell leaves the Bulls after three seasons. Last season, he helped Wiregrass Ranch make its first playoff appearance since 2010.

“When it comes to me getting better in life, there are things that you have to do in order to move forward,” McDowell said. “It's not hard at all (to leave), but my friends and the team will be missed. For me, this is one of those things.”

McDowell’s departure is the latest blow for the Bulls, who are trying to challenge Plant for a district title. Last week, athlete Raymond Woodie III left to go to Sheldon High in Eugene, Ore. to be with his father, who is an assistant coach with the Ducks.

Woodie III is ranked among the top 300 players in the state’s 2018 class and has offers from Florida, Oregon and Tennessee,  among others.


[Last modified: Wednesday, June 21, 2017 12:11pm]


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