Recruiting: What Age Is Appropriate to Offer a Scholarship?


Nov 10, 2012; Lincoln, NE, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Bo Pelini watches from the sidelines during the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Memorial Stadium in the second half. Nebraska won 32-23. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to college football and recruiting, it is a fast paced world that never seems to end. Kids are often hit with a barrage of offers from several high profile schools before stepping onto the field for their senior year of high school.

In this first installment of Questions from Husker Army, we focus on one question asked. It comes from Husker Army member Randy.

"What age is too young to offer a scholarship to a student-athlete? Most recent example is UCLA offering a scholarship to an 8th grade QB."

Great question Randy. Recruiting is now a 24/7/365 job. That doesn’t mean that coaches should be spending time looking at game film from a 14 year old boy.

  • A) Who knows if this kid is even going to want to play college football
  • B) The kid might think it’s cool to get an offer that young, and might even say yes, but even he cant take it seriously. Think about it, the kid probably has a hard time figuring out which pair of overpriced shoes he want to wear to school tomorrow.
  • C) If the kid is really a high caliber player by the time he is a junior in high school he will have plenty of offers to choose from when the time is right.

In my opinion, once a player is entering his junior year, that is the time to start to offer and take a good look at him. By then his mechanics and athletic ability will have developed as will his football IQ. That is also the time when students start to think seriously about where they might want to go to college, what they will major in, and how far away they want to be from mom and dad.

Offering a middle school student a college scholarship is insane at best. It is an extreme that should be banned by the NCAA. Then again, they don’t get much right anymore. If I had things my way, junior year of high school should be the earliest that a team can offer a scholarship or contact in any way.

Husker Army is the largest Husker group on facebook. Click here to join in the conversation.