Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian quarterback David Sills committed to West Virginia on Wednesday.
Maybe you heard of him before. Maybe you can’t remember why you should know the name, but it sounds familiar.
Sills committed to USC as a seventh grader. Then-Trojans coach Lane Kiffin, ever one to create a buzz, took the commitment, and squarely placed unrealistic expectations on the not-yet-broad-enough shoulders of Sills.
Sill and his family were smitten with USC, and who can blame them? Find any family of a seventh grader in the nation, tell them their college is paid for and he will play for one of the elite programs in the nation and a fine academic institution to boot, and it will be a done deal.
Kiffin was the one who offered Sills, and for the next four years every time Sills’ name came up in conversation, it was met by the uninformed person speaking time and again about Sills’ ability. Take a commitment from a kid in the seventh grade, and everyone seems to expect a mix of Johnny United, Joe Montana, Brett Farve and John Elway.
Instead, David Sills is just David Sills, who happens to be a darn good high school quarterback. Scout.com rates him as the No. 35 quarterback in the 2015 class.
Think about that.
He’s No. 35, ahead of thousands of others and good enough to be the marquee quarterback recruit as a Big 12 school, and people are wondering what happened to him, and ask, "wasn’t he supposed to be good?"
The fact is, Sills is good. He’s 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, get rid of the ball quickly, has good arm strength, is smart, reads defenses well and, best of all, is incredibly humble and gracious.
He is now heading to Morgantown, W.V., where he will enroll in January, got through spring practice and have a chance to win a starting spot as a freshman because of the Mountaineers’ depleted quarterback situation.
The situation reminds me a bit of Taylor King a few years back. He was a sweet-shooting lefty wing from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, and committed to UCLA men’s basketball coach Ben Howland as an eighth-grader.
It never stuck, so King signed with Duke, then transferred to Villanova. He had a nice career, and played for two very good college basketball programs.
Yet, because a coach was looking for publicity, King is known as the kid who committed to UCLA as an eighth grader.
Sills, through no fault of his own given the circumstances, now has to fight the stigma of being the kid who committed to USC as a seventh grader instead of just being the latest member of West Virginia’s 2015 class.