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New IMG football program claims TBT lineman

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Mon. January 28, 2013 | Joel Anderson

Tampa Bay Tech sophomore offensive lineman Tyree St. Luis plans to transfer to the IMG Academy, according to Titans coach Jayson Roberts.

St. Luis, a 6-foot-6 and 280-pound tackle, told Roberts he planned to start at the Bradenton-based program for its inaugural season of football next fall.

“It sucks for us,” Roberts said. “But it’s a great opportunity for the kid. I can’t do anything but wish him the best.”

St. Luis started 11 games this past season for the Titans, a rapidly developing prospect who helped the team average more than 360 yards of offense, including 212 on the ground.

He would have been one of the anchors for an offense that returns highly touted prospects and college recruits such as quarterback Tajee Fulwood and running Deon Thompson, both juniors.

Instead St. Luis is bound for IMG Academy’s fledgling football program, which is led by former Heisman Trophy winner and Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke. Many of the same coaches and staffers at IMG who work with aspiring NFL draft picks will work with the high school football team, according to the program’s website.

IMG boasts of a “professional-quality” football stadium set to open this summer, a 10,000-square-foot weight room, a state-of-the-art video analysis system to break down technique, among other things.

It wasn’t immediately clear if St. Luis was recruited to IMG or if he applied for admission.

“We brought him in as a freshman, made him a starter maybe before he was ready and took our lumps with him,” Roberts said. “What do you do when you bring along these type of kids who are the prototype and you lose them to a place that maybe makes an offer that you can’t?”

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