BRADENTON -- Bo Scarbrough's quick transition to Florida high school football affirmed just how good the running back from Tuscaloosa, Ala., is.
On Tuesday, the IMG Academy senior was honored for his place among the nation's elite when he was presented a jersey for inclusion into the 2014 Under Armour All-American Game, which will be televised on ESPN.
"It means a lot, because there's a lot of kids that want to have that chance to play in the Under Armour game," said Scarbrough, who is committed to the University of Alabama and rated No. 31 in the country according to Rivals.com. "So it's a blessing to get chosen for the All-American Game."
The game is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 2 at 4 p.m. in St. Petersburg at Tropicana Field and will be the seventh annual meeting of the top high school players in the country.
Scarbrough's jersey presentation is part of a three-month long tour by American Insurance, the game's sponsor, where 90 players are handed out honorary jerseys for their inclusion as participants in January's contest.
Scarbrough is a first-year player for the IMG Academy Ascenders, which is in its inaugural season playing as a Florida High School Activities Association independent.
"It's big for him, he's well deserving," IMG head coach Chris Weinke said. "He will do very well in this game, but it's always good, not only for the individual player, but for the program itself. For being in our inaugural season, having a player selected in this elite game speaks volumes for not only him, but I think the type of program that we're putting together."
So far this season, Scarbrough has exploded for 12 touchdowns and 763 rushing yards in five regular-season games.
"I think, in some cases, you find those elite athletes that are putting up huge numbers change who they are, and he hasn't changed one bit," Weinke said. "He came in day one and has worked extremely hard, and continues to work on his skill set. ... As a coach, it's really a lot of fun to see him to continue to develop and elevate his game on a daily basis."
Scarbrough's transfer to IMG came in August, and he quickly adapted to the Florida scene. In his first game, a Kickoff Classic against Palm Beach Lakes, Scarbrough racked up 232 rushing yards on 12 carries with three touchdowns and put the Sunshine State on notice that he's a top talent capable of taking games over.
"The thing that really impresses me with him is his pad level, how low he can stay with how big he is (6-foot-2)" IMG running backs coach Adam Behrends said. "Obviously, a hard runner. Some plays you'll see him break six or seven tackles before he goes. Been a huge plus to have him. He's a great kid, he's a hard worker, he's a good leader. He's a little shy at first, but once he got comfortable he's really come out of his shell and kind of take on that leadership role."
Scarbrough is the second player from the area to be included in the game in the last three seasons, following Southeast High's Brian Poole, who played in the 2012 game and recorded an interception return for a touchdown before heading to the University of Florida.
"It says a lot about this part of Florida," Weinke said. "The view from 3,000 feet above looking at the state of Florida, there's great high school football players and I think if you really hone in on this area, this Manatee County area and surrounding communities, what you're going to find is a large number of players that have the ability and have gone on to play at big time schools and in some cases, a lot of cases, ended up playing on Sundays. ... This is one of the premier places for not only players coming out of here but in terms of competition."