USC’s football coach Lane Kiffin has pulled another recruiting stunt. Kiffin offered a scholarship to a thirteen year old quarterback to come to play football for USC. David Sills, who is a seventh grader at Bear Christian Academy in Delaware, has been a lifelong Trojans fan and accepted the offer immediately. When I was a thirteen year old I wasn’t thinking about where I was going to college. I was thinking about why my voice is starting to crack and worried about the next zit that sprung up on my face. Signing junior high kids has become a disturbing trend in collegiate sports and the NCAA should do something about it. They should change the rules to make it illegal to recruit children that are not in high school. The teenagers should at least be able to drive a car before they are even contacted by a university. The parity in college football has caused coaches to try and stay one step ahead to gain the upper hand in recruiting. If this doesn’t stop, collegiate sports could be ruined by this type of recruiting practice.
Thirteen year old David Sills Jr., and his father, David Sills Sr. joined ESPN LA with Mason and Ireland to talk about the scholarship that he has accepted, what made USC his dream school, and whether there is an obligation to USC to follow through with this offer.
David Sills Jr.
Whether he had to think about the scholarship offer or if he jumped at it right away:
“Well I think I pretty much jumped at it right away. When my dad told me I was like speechless and I thought that he was joking at first, but I jumped at it right away because USC has always been my dream school and I always wanted to go to USC. I think if it was any other college that offered me I probably would have said no but USC has always been my dream school so I said yes.”
What made USC his dream school:
“I don’t really know. Just because my dad has always liked it and there has always been good quarterbacks that I love go into the NFL out of there. They have always been pretty much the best school in college football so I have just always wanted to go there and it has always been my dream and I have always imagined to go there.”
Whether he wanted to turn the scholarship offer down or if he jumped at it from the beginning:
“I think I was all for it right from the beginning. I sat down with him and I wanted him to kind of go through the decision making process. As a parent you want to teach your kids decision making and let them try to learn how to make good decisions and I think when he makes a bad decision I say no. When he tries to make a good decision I say yes. But really he has always kind of wanted to go to USC and he has always kind of said when the recruiting process started when he was a junior and senior and he had five schools looking at him or ten schools looking at him…you know he would always want to kind of wait for that offer from USC. So if that is where he kind of wanted to go we felt like you know that is the storied school in college football history. If that is where he wanted to go now and that is he has always wanted to go then we would commit now.”
When his son started working for Steve Clarkson, the quarterback guru:
“About three and a half years ago we went out to Pasadena for an evaluation and we have been together since.”
What he has learned more than anything else from Steve Clarkson:
“Well I mean when I started working with Coach Clarkson I really didn’t know that you had to read the defense. I would just find the open guy and throw it to him, but when I started working with Coach Clarkson he really helped me out with reading a defense and watching film and my footwork. I think that is a very big factor on my football game. Most kids my age they don’t look at film they just kind of like play and have fun. I have a lot of fun playing the game. I have always had fun playing, but it really comes down to watching film and studying film and your footwork.”
Whether he really is watching film and how much of his day is football:
“I still have a kids’ life and I still do all kids’ things. I watch film a lot, but my dad has gotten into watching film with the team and we watch film before every game of the teams we play. Pretty much our whole team has gotten into watching film and we are all pretty good at reading a defense. It doesn’t really take that much away from my childhood, but I watch quite a bit of it.”
David Sills Sr.
Whether there is an obligation to USC to follow through with this offer:
“Well I think from a verbal commitment perspective I think there is an obligation on both sides. We made a commitment which is a promise. They made a commitment which is a promise and I expect that we would follow through with it and I would expect that they would follow through with it as well.”