Heres Why Webb Basketball Star Brandon Winton Is Transferring To IMG Academy For Football

One day before Webb basketball's anticipated matchup against Knoxville Catholic, sophomore standout Brandon Winton announced that he had enrolled at IMG Academy, a private high school for elite athletes in Bradenton, Florida.

Despite several Division I offers to play college basketball, Winton's career on the court is over. He will only compete on the football team at IMG Academy, which finished the 2021 season ranked No. 17 in the country.

"When I got the opportunity, I had to sit down and talk to my parents and tell them I really wanted to play football in college," Winton said. "Going to IMG is the best way for me to get prepared for college ... so I feel like it was a no brainer."

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Winton already has offers to play football for seven Division I programs, including Tennessee, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Kentucky. He said all of his offers are to play wide receiver, except for Boston College, which made him an offer to play cornerback.

For most of his life, Winton thought he would play basketball in college, but he started to lean more towards football after his freshman season at Webb. When he took on a bigger receiving role this season and college offers started to trickle in, Winton said he knew football was his future. He finished the 2021 season with 580 yards and seven touchdowns receiving over nine games.

"(Basketball) is my first love," Winton said. "My freshman year, I wasn't even really playing football. I started like two weeks before the first game. It was really just a thing that happened and it went up in the sky, so I just knew I had to stay with it."

Winton said leaving Webb and his basketball teammates mid-season was one of the hardest factors in deciding to transfer, but he said he still plans to be the team's biggest fan even from more than 700 miles away.

"I almost cried when I had to tell them, but they understand," he said. "It's heartbreaking, because I've been playing basketball my whole life, but I have to give it up for me and my body and everything else. I'm going to be cheering for them from 10 hours away every time I know something's going on. I'll always been cheering for them."

In its first game without Winton, Webb had an impressive showing. The Spartans lost 62-56 against Catholic, the No. 5 team in the state according to the Tennessee Super 25 high school boys basketball rankings. Tennessee signee BJ Edwards, Catholic's star player, said having Winton on the bench changed the team's game plan.

"He's a really good player and defender," Edwards said. "I've known him a long time and him not playing definitely helped us. I still think we would have won the game though."

Contact Emily Adams at [email protected] or on Twitter @eaadams6.

This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Brandon Winton is leaving Webb basketball for IMG Academy football

Source : https://news.yahoo.com/heres-why-webb-basketball-star-053816560.html

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Heres why Webb basketball star Brandon Winton is transferring to IMG Academy for football

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Heres why Webb basketball star Brandon Winton is transferring to IMG Academy for football

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Knoxville area boys basketball rankings after Week 9: Fulton jumps, Grainger rejoins top 10

Heres why Webb basketball star Brandon Winton is transferring to IMG Academy for football

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Heres why Webb basketball star Brandon Winton is transferring to IMG Academy for football