What is the earliest school year players should be able to receive scholarship offers?

Leading Off: When is one too young for a scholarship offer?

Published: Saturday, Jun. 15, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jun. 18, 2013 - 12:04 pm

Just days after USC made news by offering 6-foot-2, 190-pound eighth-grade wide receiver Nathan Tilford of Upland a full scholarship, UCLA offered a scholarship to Lindell Stone, a 6-2, 190-pound quarterback who just finished eighth grade in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Players can't formally sign, of course, until they are high school seniors, but that hasn't slowed the trend of coaches reaching into middle schools.

Tilford and Stone were offered scholarships after attending skills camps at the respective universities, since there are no NCAA limitations on when recruiters can make offers.

It's just a guess how these players will perform in college, but USC and UCLA understand these offers keep their programs in the news.

Not to be outdone, Kentucky this week offered a scholarship to seventh-grader Jairus Brents, a 13-year-old defensive back from New Albany, Ind., who dazzled in a Wildcats youth camp. He won't graduate from high school until 2018.

So what's next? Offers to a preschooler with this evaluation: "The young man's crawling ability is the best we've ever seen?"

Or maybe to even younger kids with the comment, "The way this youngster places Cheerios into his mouth with such effortless, smooth strides translates into a nice pocket passer?"

What to watch

Golf, U.S. Open, 9 a.m., Ch. 3: For golf fans, it doesn't get any better than 7 1/2 hours from Merion Golf Club.

What to do

Baseball, Tacoma at River Cats, 7:05 p.m., Raley Field: It should be a glorious Sacramento summer night for baseball.

Weekend poll

What is the earliest school year players should be able to receive scholarship offers?

• Freshman

• Sophomore

• Junior

• Senior

• No limits

Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field

Wednesday's results

Who did more to change the NBA?

• Wilt Chamberlain: 21%

• Julius Erving: 20%

• Michael Jordan: 38%

• Oscar Robertson: 3%

• Bill Russell: 12%

• Other: 6%

Total votes: 541

Follow on Joe Davidson @SacBee_JoeD and listen to his "Extra Point" every Wednesday on ESPN1320.net

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