13-Year-Old Commits to USC for Football

Scholarship offer to wunderkind unprecedented in college football history

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    NBC Philadelphia

    David Sills wants to be an NFL quarterback, and at age 13 he is on his way: The boy wonder verbally accepted USC's full football scholarship offer Thursday.

    “It’s been my dream since I was, like, six [to play in the NFL],” Sills told NBC Philadelphia in May 2009.

    The Bear, Del. middle schooler makes history by committing to be a part of USC's class of 2015. While this has happened before in college basketball history, a university has never committed a full scholarship to a boy this young in college football history.

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    But professional interest in the already 6-feet-tall football phenom was piqued years before USC took notice.

    When David was 10 years old, his father, David Sills IV, hired professional quarterback coach Steve Clarkson who’s trained the likes of Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Leinart. Mr. Sills paid Clarkson to do the same for his then pre-teen son.

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    “At that time I was actually training Matt Leinart for the draft,” Clarkson said to NBC Philadelphia. “So I really wasn’t taking anyone’s calls, let alone a father of a 10-year-old.”

    But Clarkson gave the young boy a chance, going to Delaware to coach him often.

    “I’ve never worked with anyone this young and I thought it was crazy to be honest with you,” Clarkson said.

    It was actually Clarkson who brought his protégé to the attention of USC while discussing recruits for next year’s class, ESPN.com reported.

    “Mentally he’s probably ahead of, oh my god, maybe 67 percent of high schoolers,” Clarkson said of David’s ability and understanding of football strategies in an interview with NBC Philadelphia May 2009.

    “It kind of feels, like, that it’s unfair because you’re, like, beating them before the snap,” David said while watching footage of one of his games last year.

    “He has the ability to go as far as he wants to go,” said Clarkson. “If he continues on the path that he’s going I wouldn’t bet against him.”

    We won’t.