If Southern Cal thinks it has a long wait before star recruit Seantrel Henderson signs a letter of intent, it's minimal compared to its latest recruit, a 13-year-old quarterback from Delaware.
Los Angeles Times has reported that David Sills V, a seventh grader who trains with quarterback guru coach Steve Clarkson, received an offer from coach Lane Kiffin on Thursday.
Moments later, Sills, who won't graduate from high school until 2015, accepted.
"It's always been my dream to go to USC," Sills told the newspaper.
Clarkson, who has also tutored Matt Leinart, Matt Barkley, Jimmy Clausen and Nick Montana, son of Joe Montana, reportedly phoned Kiffin Thursday to let him know another pupil, current Mater Dei (Santa Ana) quarterback Max Wittek had been offered by Florida.
Within the conversation, Clarkson told Kiffin about the 5-foot-11, 135-pound Sills, whom he said could be better than Barkley or Clausen. Kiffin then watched video of Sills, a lifelong USC fan, then called the new teen and offered him a scholarship.
Sills is believed to be the youngest player to ever receive an offer from a major-college football program.
Kiffin could not be reached for comment.
Though he's still two years from even entering high school, Sills is being projected as the face prep football.
By the time he’s a senior, Sills "probably will be the most celebrated high school recruit in history," according to Clarkson, also a Dreammaker director who runs the Super 7 Quarterback Camp in Maui, Hawaii.
Sills is the triggerman for the suburban Wilmington (Del.) Red Lion Christian Academy Middle School team, which traveled across the country in Nov. to take on a pair of California opponents.
Red Lion defeated West Hills Chaminade Junior High, 39-6, as Sills completed 14-of-27 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns. Two other passes were dropped in the end zone.
Clarkson, who has been working with Sills since he was 10, scouted the game and told MaxPreps in November, "He looked like a junior Peyton Manning. A local high school coach said, ‘That kid is unbelievable.’ Even the referees were amazed. The other team sort of gravitated to him like a rock star."
Two days later, Red Lion routed the Harvard-Westlake eighth-grade team, 60-20. Sills fired five touchdown passes and ran for one in the first half. If the score was too lopsided, local rules enabled the hosts to choose five opposing players who could not participate in the second half (until the deficit reached 14 points), so Sills sat out the remainder of the game.
The first time Clarkson worked with Sills as a 10-year-old, he confessed, "I thought he should not be out there. The second workout I said, ‘Wow, what do we have here?’ Everything I gave him the day before, we didn’t have to go back over. He was ready for the advancement. He’s way beyond his years. He’s able to break down NFL cutups (of film). That’s probably for college-age."
Sills has worked out with Clausen (Notre Dame) and Barkley (Southern California). "They understand the kid, and that they were him (at one time)," Clarkson said. "He’s so accurate and has a razor-sharp release. He has a great feel for the game. He can make all the great throws. He can make adjustments at midstream, and mentally he is just off the charts."
The youthful star, who is projected to reach 6-foot-3, finished the year with 38 touchdown passes with just four interceptions during a 9-1 campaign. Red Lion’s only loss was at Montgomery Bell Academy Middle School (Nashville, Tenn.).
Senior writer Mitch Stephens contributed to this report.