Originally written on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 11/18/14

Superstar quarterback Tate Martell gave the Washington Huskies a verbal commitment yesterday, which will set up some huge Pac 12 showdowns against recent USC quarterback commit David Sills. Unfortunately, this matchup will not come for quite some time, due to the fact that these young stars will not be playing at the collegiate level for a long, long time. The reason you may not have heard of either quarterback is due to the fact that Sills will be a sophomore in high school next year and Martell is just fourteen years old, meaning he will be a high school freshman next year.

The SEC is in on this strategy too. LSU just offered Dylan Moses a scholarship… The problem: the fourteen-year old Moses will be entering eighth grade next year… EIGHTH GRADE!

Although Sills is now in high school, he has been verbally committed to USC since 2010. Now what in the world are Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian doing offering these young teens scholarships? For goodness sake, they’re just in middle school, worrying about things like Bar Mitzvahs and puberty. It sickens me to see college coaches recruiting such young men (boys) because not only are they under tremendous pressure, but also losing their childhood.

These kids will be under tremendous pressure until they eventually graduate high school, and either Pac 12 coach is able to pull the offered scholarship should their young quarterback not reach these ridiculous expectations. The NCAA needs to step in and put this to an end before parents begin to ruin their children’s lives by forcing them into intense training before they are physically and mentally ready. What’s going to happen next? Are we going to see Nick Saban at local elementary schools, seeing which kids are best on the monkey bars? Will Urban Meyer start hanging around Mommy and Me to see which babies are the best at picking up blocks?

Having a normal childhood is critical, especially for superstar athletes, as they will be faced with more responsibilities at younger ages. In today’s sports, more and more athletes find themselves with no money, in jail, or facing constant suspension. This is in large part due to an absurd amount of pressure at an extremely young age.

Why not let kids live a normal childhood, and then they can choose to bombard them in high school when they gain maturity and establish an identity. I personally feel that high school recruiting should not start until after middle school, which is still dangerously early. At least then these phenoms will have a chance to live a normal life before becoming mini celebrities, based solely on what they could become rather than who they are. We’ve all seen the shows on MTV and VH1 about child stars gone bad; so please, Mark Emmert, keep coaches out of middle schools.

-Langer

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