Tyler DeSue hasn't started his final year of middle school yet, but he's already attracting major-college interest.
DeSue, a Class of 2018 prospect, is reportedly the latest in a recent trend of middle-schoolers who have received a college football scholarship offer. The 5-foot-11, 155-pound quarterback recently earned an offer from Virginia, as was first reported by Youth1.com and confirmed by ESPN.com.
Clearly, the Cavaliers are high on his current skills and his ability to develop as a player. For schools, there is little downside to offering early: neither the offer nor the commitment is binding. Offering extra early is merely the latest way for schools to get in early with players they believe could become big-time prospects. USC made headlines by offering QB David Sills an offer as a seventh-grader, but the Trojans are not alone. LSU and Alabama are among the programs that extended offers to then-eighth grader Dylan Moses.
Such an early offer from a school like Virginia is uncommon, considering the academic standards in Charlottesville. DeSue has yet to record a single high school credit.
Whether the early offer phenomenon pays off for schools remains to be seen. But there seems to be no slowing coaches looking for the next playmaker.