IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida is place that’s loaded year in and year out with Division-I football talent as players from across the country choose to attend there in order to get better and to increase their recruiting visibility.
Class of 2022 tight end Jax Porter is an example of that as he moved to Bradenton, Florida from Dallas, Texas with the hopes of one day becoming a Power Five football recruit.
Porter (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) is still waiting for his first offer but is receiving interest including from the Pitt Panthers. Last week, Porter was contacted by Tim Salem for the first time and is hoping it leads to serious interest from the Panthers program.
“One of my friends here has been in touch with the Pitt head coach, but as far me goes, it really started this week,” said Porter. “My head coach at IMG Academy posted me on his Twitter account and I then got a follow from the tight end coach at Pitt. He reached out to me and asked me for some information and I had the chance to talk to him for a little bit.
“I’m originally from Dallas, Texas and I moved to IMG in January and was there for like 3.5 months and once the coronavirus hit, I went back home. During this time, I’ve talked with a few programs and although I don’t have that first offer, I’m hoping that it comes real soon so I can start building from there. I’d say some of my strengths are I’m pretty physical, I’m a good blocker and I have strong hands. I’m working on polishing my route running a bit and working to get faster.”
Texas is a hotbed for high school football, but Porter knows that playing for the nationally known IMG program will no doubt increase the level of visibility that he’s looking for.
“I’m really glad and excited to be able to play there and believe that it’s going to be an awesome experience,” said Porter. “I’m surrounding myself with the best players and the best coaches. Honestly, just being here has allowed me to take my game to another level and believe that it’s going to be the best place for me.
— Jax Porter (@JaxPorter22) May 27, 2020
“I’ve had the chance to talk to a lot of my teammates that have many D-I offers and I’ve just been told to just keep working hard and stay patient about it. I believe that if I do that and do my part to work hard that the offers will start coming in. I just need to be patient and stay true to the grind.”
Porter doesn’t know when and who his first offer will come from but whether it’s from Pitt or not, that first one will mean an awful lot to him and carry with it some significance.
“The first offer will be huge as it would be for anyone because that’s something that could change your life forever,” said Porter. “My first offer will mean a lot and I don’t care who it’s from because that will be the first program that took a chance on me and believed in me. That first one will stay with me and I’ll always think about it and keep them up there.”