Junior High Quarterback Offered Scholarship to FSU

 

FSU tweetHere’s a little story from the local paper that raises some questions.

An incoming freshman at New Canaan High School is already drawing attention from one of the top programs in college football.

Eighth-grade quarterback Drew Pyne, who will attend New Canaan in the fall, was offered a scholarship from Florida State, according to the Orlando Sentinel on Tuesday….

Already 15, Pyne currently stands at 6-foot-1 and weighs at 170 pounds, according to 24/7 sports. He lead his Pop Warner team, the New Fairfield Falcons, to back-to-back state championships and a New England Regional championship.

Does this kind of thing happen much? I know that professional teams in every sport scour the globe for young talent. But are college athletic departments now scouting players before they even get to high school?

When I told a friend about this, he suggested that elite college coaches might be worried that football is falling from favor as a youth sport. Perhaps fear of a dwindling talent pool is putting pressure on schools to scoop up the best players as quickly as they can. Seems plausible.

Pyne comes from a football family. His father — a highly successful sports business executive — captained the football team at Brown, and his uncle, grandfather, and great-grandfather all played professionally.

So he’s got good genes, in addition to a strong arm. But can you imagine entering high school with a big-time football scholarship in your back pocket? I sure can’t.

There are 13 comments.

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  1. RyanM Member
    RyanM
    @RyanM

    … but I hate it when people say they are “humbled” when what they mean is the exact opposite.

    You’d be humbled by not being drafted when you thought you should be, or by breaking a bone and having to rehab and learn how to overcome that injury.  Being rewarded for something is not a humbling experience.

    • #1
  2. A-Squared Inactive
    A-Squared
    @ASquared

    I’m not a sports guy so I’m a long way from an expert on this (but I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night), but I don’t think colleges are allowed to offer scholarships to Freshman.

    A quick google search on the rules discovered this site, which says that for Freshman and Sophmores

    Coaches are not allowed to:

    To call you on the phone.
    A coach cannot send you any written recruiting information.

    • #2
  3. Matthew Hennessey Contributor
    Matthew Hennessey
    @MatthewHennessey

    A-Squared:I’m not a sports guy so I’m a long way from an expert on this (but I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night), but I don’t think colleges are allowed to offer scholarships to Freshman.

    A quick google search on the rules discovered this site, which says that for Freshman and Sophmores

    Coaches are not allowed to:

    To call you on the phone.
    A coach cannot send you any written recruiting information.

    I hope this post doesn’t ruin it for the kid.

    • #3
  4. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    According to this, the offer is not unprecedented.  Also, at least one other school, South Alabama, has offered Pyne a scholarship

    • #4
  5. Herbert Inactive
    Herbert
    @Herbert

    A-Squared:I’m not a sports guy so I’m a long way from an expert on this (but I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night), but I don’t think colleges are allowed to offer scholarships to Freshman.

    A quick google search on the rules discovered this site, which says that for Freshman and Sophmores

    Coaches are not allowed to:

    To call you on the phone.
    A coach cannot send you any written recruiting information.

    So this is how they get around the rule…. do it before they become freshmen….   I wonder if it is a unconditional scholarship… i.e.  FSU has to live up to it even if the guy gets hurt and can’t play football.   If so, I have no problem with it….

    • #5
  6. A-Squared Inactive
    A-Squared
    @ASquared

    Herbert: o this is how they get around the rule…. do it before they become freshmen…. I wonder if it is a unconditional scholarship… i.e. FSU has to live up to it even if the guy gets hurt and can’t play football. If so, I have no problem with it….

    Possibly,

    The official NCAA guide for prospective athletes includes this sentence

    Prospective student-athlete. You become a “prospective
    student-athlete” when:
    • You start ninth-grade classes;
    • Before your ninth-grade year, a college gives you, your relatives
    or your friends any financial assistance or other benefits that the
    college does not provide to students generally; or
    • When you start seventh-grade classes in the sport of men’s
    basketball.

    I infer from the exception for basketball that it’s ok to recruit for football before high school.

    According to this website at least, anything prior to senior year is unofficial

    # 8. When Can I be Offered/Accept a Scholarship?
    You can receive and accept a verbal scholarship at any point during the recruiting process, but this doesn’t guarantee you a scholarship.

    • #6
  7. SoDakBoy Inactive
    SoDakBoy
    @SoDakBoy

    Since when do middle school sports have state championships?

    New England Regional Championships?

    Lots of stupidity to go around.

    • #7
  8. Severely Ltd. Inactive
    Severely Ltd.
    @SeverelyLtd

    And yet again, the wisest rule of thumb is vindicated; if FSU is doing it, it’s probably wrong.

    • #8
  9. Matthew Hennessey Contributor
    Matthew Hennessey
    @MatthewHennessey

    Severely Ltd.:And yet again, the wisest rule of thumb is vindicated; if FSU is doing it, it’s probably wrong.

    You found the words.

    • #9
  10. Herbert Inactive
    Herbert
    @Herbert

    Severely Ltd.:And yet again, the wisest rule of thumb is vindicated; if FSU is doing it, it’s probably wrong.

    LOL truth…

    • #10
  11. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    You think this is ridiculous. Nick Saban thinks “Damn, Jimbo beat me to him…”

    • #11
  12. Spencer Moffat Inactive
    Spencer Moffat
    @SpencerMoffat

    I have a friend who as a freshmen in high school, was offered a lacrosse scholarship for the University of North Carolina. It really is unfortunate that college coaches are scouting these kids even before they play a single game in high school.

    • #12
  13. J.D. Hoefle Inactive
    J.D. Hoefle
    @JeffH

    Junior High Recruiting (link)

    Apparently it’s not uncommon and more prevalent in women’s college sports. According to the article, only 4% of football recruits commit early.

    I’ve been following college football for 40 years and can’t say I’d ever heard of verbal scholarship offers to middle school athletes. I don’t think it’s a good idea to put that much pressure on a 14 year old. It’s hard enough for high school juniors.

    If the kid from Connecticut commits to FSU, Coach Fisher will honor the scholarship even if he gets hurt and never plays a down. He did the same in 2012 for a Tampa high school player with a football ending concussion.

    BTW, The Orlando Sentinel article is followed by a similar story of an offer to an 8th grader by UF. So, not unique to the Seminoles despite the “drive by” comments from the disgruntled Gator or Canes fans here.

    • #13

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