David Sills is only 14 years old, but he's already turned plenty of heads both by starting at quarterback for a (suddenly) nationally prominent high school program as an eighth-grader, and for accepting a scholarship offer from USC before ever taking a high school snap. Now that he actually has a prep season under his belt, the player tapped by prep quarterback kingmaker Steve Clarkson (for his part, Clarkson prefers to refer to himself as a "Dreammaker") as the latest chosen one, spent some quality time at USC spring football practice, talking with his prospective future coaches and, inevitably, answering questions on ESPN Radio.
That's right, as if David Sills needed even more attention, ESPN Radio in L.A. was happy to give it to him on Friday. Yet, as ludicrous as it may sound, the brief audio questionnaire did provide interesting insight into exactly what happens when a teenager makes a life-changing decision about his future at the tender age of 13, opening up his doors to the brightest of media spotlights for a full six years as a result.
You can read the full transcript of Sills' interview with ESPN Radio at SportsRadioInterviews.com, or you can listen to it right here. However, these were the most salient points of the eighth-grader's chit chat with ESPN Radio Los Angeles' Mason & Ireland:
• He was asked the following question: "What grade are you in right now?" (Luckily, Sills answered accurately).
• He admitted that he thought his father was joking when he was told of USC's scholarship offer.
• He insisted that his lifelong dream was always to play for USC, so he didn't hesitate in accepting it.
• Sills insisted that the thought that his scholarship offer and commitment may have been a bit premature has never even entered his head.
Those were certainly the most ear-catching moments of a fairly transfixing stretch of radio, an interview that also included an admission from Sills that any coach who succeeded Kiffin might rescind his scholarship offer. Then there was the fascinating moment when Sills was asked what his favorite part of the USC visit was, with the teenager claiming that he attended the Trojans' quarterback position meeting and was treated like one of the school's signal callers.
Oh, and just in case there's any question about Sills' commitment to USC, he claims he is "100 percent" committed.
Of course, there's nothing intrinsically wrong with anything about Sills' visit. He went on his own time -- he only missed half a day of his eighth-grade year at Red Lion (Del.) Christian Academy because the school had a "Professional Development" Day -- and flew to L.A. on his own (or, rather, his father's) dime.
Still, for an eighth-grader to be more focused on a future four years down the road -- a future which depends on a controversial college football coach still being in place -- than he is on his next school dance, or even his next science fair project, can feel a bit irresponsible, or at least unfair to Sills, whether he realizes it or not.
Yet, for the time being, none of that matters, either to Sills or the massive attention the recruit will continue to generate in the future. That may not be fair to anyone, least of all Sills himself.