Lausanne’s quest for a three peat as state champions, took a big hit on Thursday, as two time Division II Mr. Football Eric Gray announced he is leaving Lausanne and will enroll to play his senior season at powerhouse IMG Academy in Florida.
Gray had a monster junior season as he rushed for 3,151 yards and scored 45 touchdowns to help lead the Lynx to the Division II-AA State title in 2017.
During the last two seasons which both ended in state titles for the Lynx , Gray rushed for 5,366 yards and scored 83 touchdowns as the Lynx added a Division II-A title in 2016.
“We are very proud of Eric and what he’s accomplished here at Lausanne and he’ll always be a part of our family, Lausanne head coach Kevin Locastro said. We wish him the best of luck in Florida, and know that the academic preparation he received at Lausanne will enable him to succeed on a global stage.”
Gray was also named the 2017 Gatorade State Player of the Year and was the Division II-A Mr. Football Back of the Year in 2016 and added another Mr. Football trophy in 2017, this time in Division II-AA.
He is the third Tennessee player to leave the state for IMG Academy as The Kings Academy junior offensive lineman Chris Akporoghene announced last week he was transferring to IMG Academy.
Former Friendship Christian athlete Mike Jones transferred to IMG in 2016 and played his junior and senior seasons in Florida and Jones signed with Clemson during the early signing period last month.
IMG Academy does not play for a state title in Florida but finished this season undefeated at 8-0 and finished the year ranked No. 2 in the nation by USA Today.
According to the IMG Academy website, the tuition for the 2018-19 school year at the boarding school is $77, 650.
Knoxville Catholic, Franklin Grace Heading to DII in 2019-2020
Defending Class 5A state champion Knoxville Catholic and Franklin Grace will be competing in Division II starting in the 2019-20 school year.
Both schools were unanimously approved to join Division II in the 2019-20 school year at the TSSAA Board of Control meeting on Thursday.
Catholic will play in Division II-AAA while Franklin Grace will play in Division II-A.
“The school administration felt it was the best option for our school as a whole, and I support their decision. From a football perspective, we are looking forward to competing against some of the best teams in the state,” Catholic coach Steve Matthews said.
Now that Catholic and Franklin Grace are leaving Division I to join Division II, that leaves only Columbia Academy (2A) and Trinity Christian (2A) as private schools still remaining in Division I.
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