After announcing his move to IMG Academy in early January, wide receiver Hardley Gilmore IV became the second in a string of transfers that rocked Benjamin early in the offseason.
On Monday, the sophomore ended up in Palm Beach County. Not at Palm Beach Gardens with the Bucs, but at Belle Glade – in practice with Pahokee.
Emmanuel Hendrix, whose status as Pahokee head coach remains in limbo, heard the news from Gilmore’s mother over the weekend, proving that good things come to those who wait.
“He signed up to attend Pahokee in eighth grade, but it didn’t happen,” Hendrix said.
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Before being noticed by IMG, Gilmore was scheduled to be traded to Pahokee in the offseason.
Back in the Muck at last, an unranked but definitely on the radar Gilmore joins a Blue Devil offense loaded with three-star senior athlete Jashon Benjamin, Austin Simmons, the school’s second unranked quarterback, but highly touted, and more .
As a freshman, Gilmore recorded 16 receptions for 229 yards and seven touchdowns in Benjamin’s 8-4 run to the Class 3A Region Finals. His total is tied for third on the Bucs alongside then-junior receiver Micah Mays and sophomore running back Chauncey Bowens.
Gilmore was a good size in the recruiting class of 2025 mix when he left for IMG’s Bradenton campus, standing 5ft 11in, weighing 160. This stature, combined with speed developed by running events athletics, and big hands won offers from Florida State, Syracuse and Maryland.
While he gained just 10 pounds, Gilmore grew two inches during his offseason spent developing at IMG, showing good signs of more size and muscle to come throughout the season at come – and the next two years – leaving him with an even more valuable perspective.
In January he was traded, Gilmore pinned Central Florida. In late May, Gilmore’s offer list included Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.
“I’m very happy that Hardley has decided to come back to Pahokee,” Hendrix said.
Meanwhile, Hendrix is still unsure if he will coach Pahokee this season.
“I would be even more excited if the district closed this baseless and bogus investigation of me so I could join my players,” Hendrix said.
Hendrix is about to enter his second year as head coach of the Blue Devils. His employment is on hold with the Palm Beach County School District following an investigation by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office that saw him expelled from the Pahokee campus last November.
In May, Hendrix told the Post that the school district and school police had agreed to remove him from campus “until the PBSO investigation is complete.” Hendrix said the investigation was closed in March.
Pahokee manager Dwayne Dennard asked PBCSD human resources representative Darron Davis about Hendrix’s employment status on July 13. Davis called Dennard the same day and told him the school should know about Hendrix “within a week or two,” according to Hendrix.
“I don’t know if I’ll be in practice on Monday,” Hendrix said. “They could shut that down at any time.”
District Director of Professional Standards Vicki Evans-Paré confirmed that Hendrix was expelled from campus due to an open investigation in an email to the Post in May. Inquiries made to the school district regarding Hendrix’s status since have not been returned.
Austin Simmons recently called Hendrix to see if it was true that he hadn’t been cleared on the pitch yet days away from pre-season camp. Hendrix said he told his quarterback he would be on the sidelines for the classic Pahokee kickoff at Centennial on Aug. 18.
“I said [Simmons], ‘Yes.’ Now let’s get everything we worked for,” Hendrix said.