6th Grade Quarterback Being Recruited

When you hear stories about guys like Billy Butler, you start to wonder about the Current State of College Recruiting.  Is a guy like Butler altruistically putting aside his own profit-making plans to help high school kids make good decisions about where to play collegiate football, or is it all a plot to add some bucks to his bankroll while making it seem that he has the kids’ best interests in mind?  You already know my opinion.  Besides the multiple runners trying to have an influence on the decisions that these kids will make concerning college and selecting an agent, scouts, families, and agents are destroying youth athletics by the day.  As previously mentioned, an eighth grader signed a Letter Of Intent with the University of Kentucky, an 11-year-old has been shopped around by his father on YouTube, and recently, the NCAA officially lowered the grade-level age of ”recruitable” boys’ basketball prospects from ninth to seventh.

The latest: A 12-year-old, 6th grade quarterback is being recruited by various colleges.  While the NCAA complains about the ruling handed down by Judge Tygh M. Tone in Andrew A. Oliver vs. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al. the NCAA is turning its cheek to the terrible recruiting going on by its member institutions.  The NCAA is so concerned that a senior high-school player not have an advisor play too large of a role in his decision making process, but allows 12-year-old boys to receive questionnaires from its member institutions?

David Sills is being coached by one of the best: Steve Clarkson.  Besides teaching Sills proper throwing mechanics, Clarkson has also been given the green light to aid Sills in handling college recruiters.

I am happy for David and his family that he was blessed with great talents at such a young age, but seriously, give the kid a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch and throw in some Gushers…try your best to give the kid a normal childhood.  Let’s start putting a fix to this terrible state of recruiting.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

6 replies on “6th Grade Quarterback Being Recruited”

A kid can’t sign a Letter of Intent until his or her senior year.

By the way, isn’t the family on the hook for some of this? If they felt it was so bad, couldn’t they just say to the coaches, “Come back in two or three years.” Even if the kid verballed at age 12, no coach would honor the kid’s commitment if by 11th grade he wasn’t any good. I don’t know, I don’t think coaches should be recruiting that early, but if one of them is, then I can understand how the rest do.

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Ahh, gushers. What a great snack. Up there with Dunk-a-roos and fruit-by-the-foot.

But seriously, it is way out of control when a 6th grader is receiving messages from colleges. If this stuff is going to continue to happen, then it is even more important for players to have an advisor they can trust to help them make good decisions (and make sure they’re not breaking any rules). I definitely don’t blame the kids or families for this happening, but the NCAA has let this go on far to long in unregulated/shady ways.

I don’t know how to fix the state of recruiting but I do think there needs to be some kind of formal process/rules for who can/can’t advise kids on their recruiting decisions. What do you think?

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Personally I do not think this type of behaivor should be encouraged. This is a 12 year old kid who just graduated from elementary school. Let the kid enjoy playing sports and doing other things that little kids like. He doesn’t need the pressure of living up to Division 1 program’s expectations as a 6th grader, he needs to be a 12 year old kid, plain and simple.

I would agree that the parents are absolutely on the hook for this. I could understand parents being excited that Div 1 programs are interested in their child, however, it’s your responsibility to raise and protect your child until they’re grown enough to make decisions for themselves. Unless you want your child to be the next Danny Bonaduce, tell the recruiters to come back after the kid has hit puberty.

I would have to totally agree on the lines of this behavior not being encouraged. For one, at that age the body is not at its full potential. The body is still growing, and how can you determine if the kid is/or is not going to improve over the next 5 or so years? When I was growing up i’ve seen some really talented ball players that were either my own age or maybe a little bit older, but that was it! Their game never fully developed as expected, and continued to be this average player on the field or court. So I am a true believer that recruiting at that age level is merely unethical in the since that college recruiters do not know what exactly they’re are setting themselves up for. Nothing is guaranteed.

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