David Sills

Get your creep on: 14-year-old QB phenom talks USC offer


Ever-lovable USC head coach Lane Kiffin made headlines — and by “made headlines” we mean “caused sane people to throw up a little bit in their mouths” — early last year when he extended a scholarship offer to 13-year-old quarterback phenom David Sills, who promptly gave his “verbal commitment” to the Trojans — for the Class of 2015.

Now that Sills is merely four years away from being allowed to legally vote, it’s of course the logical next step in the process for him to appear on an ESPN radio program for an interview.  So he did.

During the course of the interview on ESPN Los Angeles, the eighth grader, who hails from the state of Delaware, addressed concerns some have that this may be too much too soon.  Or that Chris Hansen should be involved in the recruiting process.

“There is definitely no thought from me that it is,” the kid said. “I’m just trying to get ahead so that when I do go to USC, I’m prepared for USC and prepared for whatever comes at me. So it’s just an early start for me, and I think it’s a full advantage for me, and I think my parents and my whole family like it as well.”

Sills talked about what is was like to be on the receiving end of a dream offer from Kiffin — “I mean, that was my dream my whole life — to go to USC and play football” — and also discussed something that’s a near-daily occurrence for most strapping young men his age in this great country of ours.

“Well yesterday I went to the quarterback meetings and I was with all the quarterbacks,” Sills said matter-of-factly. “And they treated me like I was one of the quarterbacks, I wasn’t any different. It was cool being in there.

“They went through things like they were on the field; they were calling cadences like they were on the field. It was just cool when they were going over and protections being like ‘wow, this is going to be me when I get older and can go to USC.’ And then we went and watched their practice and it was really cool. It was just really cool watching all the players do their positions.”

(Before you ask, it is entirely permissible for Sills to attend QB meetings as the NCAA does not consider a football player a potential recruit until he reaches the ninth grade.)

(Excuse me for a second: Hey, NCAA, pull down your skirt; your loophole is showing.)

Somewhat surprisingly, and with major kudos to the host of the show, the elephant-sized question in the room was addressed.

If he knows if it’s a possibility that he’d not have the same offer by a different head coach other than Kiffin:

“Well I’ll always love USC. And I think Coach Kiffin is a great coach, so I think he’ll be there when I get there in five years.”

But can some coach other than Kiffin potentially rescind on the offer?

“I guess so. I’m not quite sure.”

This is where the whole creep-tastic situation could potentially spiral into ugliness and disappointment for the young man.

Of course there’s a chance that Kiffin won’t be with the Trojans in 2015, and his successor will be well within his rights to pull the offer if he so desires.  Of course there’s a chance that, even if Kiffin is still with the Trojans when 2015 rolls around, he decides to rescind the offer.  Hell, National Signing Day 2015 is nearly four years away; anything can happen between now and then.

By most media accounts, Sills is a very accomplished quarterback for someone his age and has a ton of potential.  Hopefully, the kid realizes his dream of suiting up for the Trojans upon graduation and goes on to a long and prosperous collegiate career.

If he doesn’t?  Don’t blame Kiffin or the school or anything else along those lines.  If this grand plan doesn’t come to fruition, place the blame squarely where it belongs — with the parents and with the NCAA.

And, if Sills reneges on his verbal?  Just chalk it up to Lady Karma comin’ a callin’ on Coach Kiffin.

Starting LB C.J. Johnson reveals surgery on social media, Ole Miss confirms

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Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.

With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future.  The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.

Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.

At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas.  The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.

Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels.  He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website Gridiron.com, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.