Talk about getting a jump on recruiting.
Just days after getting commitments from high school seniors around the nation, USC’s Lane Kiffin has locked up a 13-year-old quarterback. Every one of those seniors singed on Wednesday will have graduated (or gone pro) from USC by the time David Sills arrives on campus.
Kiffin found out about Sills when calling famed quarterback coach Steve Clarkson about another recruit. Clarkson has mentored current USC quarterback Matt Barkley as well as Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clauson and others.
Kiffin watch a popular youtube video of Sills, was impressed with the kid as a high school player, then found out that he was just 13. In seventh grade. But that didn’t stop Kiffin from calling and talking to Sills and his parents. And it didn’t take long for the brand new teenager to verbally commit to the Trojans.
"I'm as shocked as anybody," Sills' father said. "I was just talking with friends yesterday about what it'll be like four years from now when David goes through the recruiting process. I never expected this to happen so soon.
"But David's always wanted to go to USC. I mean, is there a better place to play football in the country? How can you pass up the best offer you're ever going to get?"
In what is a small nod to sanity in the recruiting process, Sills can’t actually send a letter of intent to USC — which would legally bind him to USC — for another two years.
Of course, that just means a two-year window for other college coaches to swoop in and steal Kiffin’s catch. If you’ve ever watched footage on the National Geographic Channel of a pack of hyenas out on the African savannah fighting over scraps of food, college coaches on the recruiting trail look a lot like that.
Kiffin and Sills will meet for the first time in the coming weeks, when he comes out to work with Clarkson as he does every six weeks or so. And the way teenagers change their minds, 2015 might as well be 100 years from now.
But as of today, USC has the best 2015 recruiting class in the nation.