If you didn’t think that college football recruiting could get much crazier, think again.
On Tuesday, Tennessee offered a scholarship to a Georgia phenom who has yet to step on a high school campus.
That’s right, middle-school recruiting. Colleges are hotly pursuing boys who are barely teenagers.
And what’s even crazier is that the Volunteers weren’t the first offer for Owen Pappoe, an eighth-grader from Gwinnett County who is nicknamed “The Freak.” The future player for Grayson High School picked up an offer from Boston College a few days ago, per Youth1.com’s Al Popadines.
And maybe craziest of all is that “The Freak” isn’t the first 2019 (yes, 2019) or middle schooler from Georgia to be offered by an SEC school this year.
South Carolina made headlines last month for being the first to extend an offer to Dominick Blaylock, the son of former NBA guard Mookie Blaylock. Blaylock will be a ninth-grader at Walton High School next year.
On Monday, Alabama offered Keiondre Jones, a 14-year-old from Hoganesville, per Scout.com’s Chad Simmons. Jones stands 6-foot-3 and 254 pounds – and he already wears a size 18 shoe. Jones will be a freshman at Callaway High School next year.
What do college coaches think about this trend of offering scholarships to middle schoolers? We asked, and they told us RIGHT HERE.
Like it or not, this is a recruiting trend that is only going to get bigger, not smaller.
Why do colleges make these ridiculous offers? Because it’s an all-out competition to be able to say that they were “the first to offer” or “one of the first to offer” a possible future 5-star.
And hey, I would probably be quick to pull the trigger if I was a college coach after reading THIS — that the main reason that the nation’s No. 1 prospect signed with UGA this past year because the Bulldogs were first to offer.
Besides, what do the colleges have to lose? How many of the coaches will be in their current positions by the time it’s signing day for the 2019 kids? And, as Steve Spurrier pointed out, colleges can always “find a reason” to get out of the deal if the kid doesn’t pan out in high school.
And it’s not like the NCAA will ever be able to legislate anything against this. These silly offers to middle schoolers are verbal and non-binding. Even if the NCAA made some type of rule, college coaches could always find a way around it. They could tell a kid “we have some big news coming up for you on (whenever the NCAA would allow them to offer),” tell the middle/high school coaches instead, and drop hints.
What do you think? Please post below.