I kind of wish the NCAA would put rule in place that no team can offer until the first school day of the kids junior year. It's to much pressure on for a 12-13-14-15 year old kid. I would also like to see more dead periods, where the schools have to leave the kids alone. Give them time to think.
If it seems like things changed in college football recruiting in recent years, it’s because they have. No longer content to focus on the upcoming high school senior class, there’s increased media attention on younger and younger players to the point where it’s not uncommon to see junior high kids getting offers. South Carolina recruiting coordinator Steve Spurrier Jr. says a seismic shift has occurred in recent years and points to Florida and former coach Urban Meyer for changing how the game is played.
“Seven, eight years ago, never in my life (did I) worry about a 10th grader. Ever. A coach would come in and (say), ‘Listen, I’ve got a 10th grader you need to see.’ No, I don’t. I’ll see him in two years. I don’t know where I’m going to be in two years, but I certainly am not going to evaluate this kid now. Now we’ve got guys (saying), ‘I’ve got a great eighth grader. You need to look at him.’ Well, let me see him. What number is he? Give me some tape, I’ll take it back and we’ll evaluate it. It’s changed and it’s pushed everybody back one, two, three years. Florida (with Urban Meyer) was one of the teams that started doing it. The word was out that people were offering people a lot earlier and that you need to do it, too. So that’s what we started doing.”
Spurrier Jr. explained why it’s so difficult to judge junior high talent.
“God, I don’t where I’m going to be in five years. I have a hard time with that, one. And two, you have a really hard time projecting what a kid will look like. What is he going to look like in five years? I saw a couple eighth graders that were 6-2, 210 pounds. Are you going to be 6-5 and 290? I don’t know what you’re going to look like in four or five years. That gets hard to project.
“More difficult than that, to me, is when I look at a 10th grader that I think is a really good player and now I need to project what they’ll look like. If he’s good enough to offer, I need to offer him. We have to guess what he’s going to look like in two years. But (with) an eighth grader, I’d hate to do that. I don’t want to guess what that kid’s going to look like, what he’s going to be, how fast he’ll be. That’s a long way away. I hope we don’t start offering eighth graders. I hope it doesn’t go that far. I think we’ve offered three ninth graders now (rising sophomores). That’s kind of risky, too.”
The Gamecocks currently have five commitments in the class of 2014 and three for the class of 2015.