13-Year-Old Gets Football Scholarship Offer

Seventh grader David Sills verbally commits to play quarterback for USC.

Feb. 6, 2009— -- David Sills, Jr. has never played in a high school football game, but he already has a college scholarship offer.

Sills, 13, verbally committed to play football at the University of Southern California on Thursday.

USC coach Lane Kiffin extended the verbal offer even though Sills can't officially sign a letter of intent until 2015. The agreement is non-binding, so either party can still back out.

"It's always been my dream to go to USC. I'm really excited to commit," said Sills, a quarterback for the Red Lion Christian Academy Middle School team in Wilmington, Del.

Sills, a 5-foot-11, 135-pound seventh grader, has dazzled scouts and coaches with his throwing skills and maturity.

At 10 years old, Sills started training with quarterback coach Steve Clarkson.

Clarkson told Sills' father, David Sills Sr., that, at the time, his son was training at a level many high school quarterbacks can't handle.

Sills Sr. was shocked by the college interest in his son, but insisted he's not too young for this type of commitment.

"I equate it to a kid who is really good at the trumpet or math, a prodigy. Why would I want to hold my kid back when he shows special skills in the thing that he loves to do? I go with the flow," said the elder Sills. "He does it without being pushed. He really wants to do it."

Criticism of the Sillses decision has already begun. The son says he feels the pressure to live up to the growing expectations sometimes, but he takes it in stride.

"It makes me want to work harder and live up to it, because you can't slack off or anything when you go to USC or a major college," the teen said. "If people write bad things about me, I take it and use it and prove them wrong, and I'm going to work harder."

Comparisons to Peyton Manning

Sills Jr. already is drawing comparisons to his favorite quarterback, Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts. But he's not sure he's going to root for the Colts in Sunday's Super Bowl.

"The Colts were my dad's favorite team, so I love them," Sills Jr. said. "But I want the Saints to win because they haven't won a Super Bowl yet and [Drew] Brees is a role model for me."

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