In case you missed it, there’s been a trend of some college programs offering scholarships to kids at much younger ages than normal. Usually this happens in the later stages of high school.
New Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin recently offered rising eighth grader Kaden Martin, son of former Tennessee QB Tee Martin, now offensive coordinator at Southern California. Martin’s son graduates in 2022.
Kiffin also offered a California quarterback who just finished sixth grade, per Fox Sports reporter Bruce Feldman.
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Kiffin got a commitment from 15-year-old Florida quarterback Brandon McDuffey, who graduates in 2020 and hasn’t thrown a varsity pass yet. He just finished ninth grade. McDuffey told USA Today that “I just felt (Florida Atlantic) was the best place for me to commit to as of right now. I visited the school, and I like the facilities and the campus a lot. Coach Kiffin, coming from Alabama and winning championships as the offensive coordinator, I feel like he’s a great coach.”
Now, the race to offer has gotten even earlier.
A 9-year-old in Los Angeles, Havon Finney Jr., recently received an offer from the University of Nevada. The news was reported by his trainer, Mike Evans, a former Louisville football player.
Another one of Evans’ clients, 10-year-old Bunchie Young got an offer from Illinois earlier this month.
Speaking to 247 Sports, Young said this is today’s recruiting.
“This type of thing is the new day and age,” he said to the website. “When coaches are able to see it (on social media), it’s a lot of smoother for them to offer this kid. A lot of kids might do it and not get offers, but these kids are special.”
Sure enough, a simple YouTube search brings up all manner of highlights for Finney and Young, including the one below that has nearly 800,000 views.
Evans told 247 that Nevada offered Finney after an assistant saw some of his videos. Ditto for Young and Illinois. And in case you doubt these are truthful, Evans put out a tweet to tout the offers to his clients and it was retweeted by Illinois offensive coordinator Garrick McGee.