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Tribune sports rant: Hey, college coaches, it's icky to recruit seventh-graders
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

According to ESPN.com, QB Lindell Stone of Southlake, Texas, WR Nathan Tilford of Upland, Calif., ILB Dylan Moses of Baton Rouge, La., and CB Jairus Brents of New Albany, Ind., have all received recent scholarship offers to play college football for programs in so-called BCS conferences.

Sounds good … until it's noted that the first three are eighth-graders and the latter is a seventh-grader.

Then it sounds kinda icky.

It's true that college football recruiting has devolved into an ever-escalating arms race now at Cuban Missile Crisis levels. It's also true that coaching tenures are more volatile than ever now that patience for seeing a program succeed has grown thinner than any magazine cover model run through Photoshop.

In that climate, it is perhaps not terribly surprising that coaches have resorted to making offers to middle schoolers.

Is that really where we want to be, though?

This situation seems to call for a dose of common sense: If an athlete is still trying to memorize his first locker combination, consider him too young to recruit.

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