Former OSU stars Braxton Miller, Troy Smith to attempt pioneering IMG Academy style school in Ohio
Troy Smith and Braxton Miller had extremely successful careers while at Ohio State, and the duo is in the midst of trying to bring something even bigger to Ohio.
According to Marcus Hartman with the Springfield News-Sun, Miller, Smith, and Paul Miller (Braxton’s uncle) are attempting a bid to purchase the campus of Urbana University in Urbana, Ohio. The University closed in 2020 following declining enrollment and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Their plans for the property? Converting it into the Urbana Prep and Sports Institute, a boarding school designed after the model of IMG Academy out of Bradenton, Florida:
“My Uncle Paul reached out to me about the acquisition with the campus shutting down,” Braxton Miller said. “It was a great opportunity to make my dream come true to have a school in the Midwest, do something big in the Midwest, to bring sports to the Midwest in that format.”
He went on to say that the process is far from solidified as the group continues to take its time in doing the groundwork:
“It’s not all the way up to par yet, but we’re in the process of making it happen,” Miller said. “There’s a lot of things in between with the acquisition of the campus (and opening the school), and we’re taking our time with that. We’re crossing our Ts, dotting our ‘I’s and making the right decisions as far as acquiring something like this to create our own prep school.”
IMG Academy has certainly become a national brand in recruiting for multiple sports. The school has produced a number of five-star football players, including quarterback and 2021 Michigan signee J.J. McCarthy. IMG also boasts five-star basketball players Moussa Diabate (a 2021 signee with Michigan) and Tamar Bates (a 2021 signee with Indiana).
It will be interesting to see if Miller and Smith can bring the IMG model to the Midwest. And if they do, what impact that might have on recruiting in the B1G.