St. Petersburg Catholic running back Tony Jones Jr., who rushed for 1,145 yards and 12 touchdowns last year as a sophomore and made the Times' all-Pinellas County team, has transferred to IMG Academy in Bradenton.
Jones Jr. started at IMG on Thursday.
IMG, a prep school that specializes in advanced training and nutrition and will play its second season of football in the fall, has now lured four Tampa Bay players to its roster the past two years: former Tampa Bay Tech lineman Tyree St. Louis, former Palm Harbor University players John Tauber and Shane Dixon and now Jones.
IMG has a $70,000 tuition price tag, but offers financial assistance based on income, according to Jones' father.
"It was a no-brainer,'' said Tony Jones Sr., a former fullback and linebacker with the Tampa Bay Storm. Now a personal trainer and aspiring coach, Jones Sr. said the facilities are as good as he's ever seen.
"I've given him what I can, but what they have here, I can't give him. This is too good of an opportunity to get him prepared for the next level. It's state of the art."
Jones is a 6-foot, 220-pound running back and linebacker. While he has no college offers, his father said a number of schools, including Florida, USF and Notre Dame, have expressed interest.
Jones had more than 700 yards rushing as a freshman and was expected to be a central piece of the Baron offense next year.
He will also play baseball at IMG.