Extending college scholarship offers to middle schoolers is absolutely nothing new, but it still is amazing that it happens as often as it does. New Miami head coach Mark Richt has extended an offer to Georgia eighth grade quarterback Harrison Bailey earlier this week.
Bailey will be a part of college football’s Class of 2020 on the recruiting calendar, so it goes without saying a lot can happen between now and signing day for the 6′-3″ Bailey. Do not be surprised if other offers start trickling into the hands of Bailey either as other programs look to make a solid early impression. Richt probably got a little bit of an early look at Bailey after being the head coach at Georgia for so long, establishing connections throughout the state to get a glimpse of the pipeline years in advance, and he clearly was not leaving for Miami without at least extending an offer to Bailey.
“He said we usually don’t offer young bucks like you but you’re talented and we think you can handle it,” Bailey told Youth1. “We don’t think you’ll get a big head and we want to offer you a scholarship.”
Bailey was a starter for his 6th grade team when he was in fifth grade. That sounds like a Chuck Norris fact, but it is true for Bailey. When Bailey played in sixth grade, he scored 31 touchdowns and passed for an estimated 1,800 yards (nobody keeps solid stats for middle schoolers I suppose). According to Youth1’s profile piece on Bailey, the young quarterback was asked to take an unofficial visit to Georgia last season, when Richt was the head coach of the Bulldogs of course. The two did not meet at that time though, and Bailey says the first time he met Richt was this week and had a five-hour conversation.
That is some serious recruiting strategy in play by Richt, but now the question will be how Bailey continues to develop as he enters high school. We’ll be sure to keep an eye on him these next few years and see if Miami ends up cashing in on the early recruiting effort from Richt.