Lane Kiffin upped the scholarship game back in 2010 when he offered 13-year-old quarterback prodigy David Sills, now a star wide receiver at West Virginia, while he was the head coach at USC. Nearly a decade later, Kiffin, now the head coach at Florida Atlantic, has his eyes on an even younger prodigy at the position — only this one comes with a famous surname attached.
Cole Leinart is an 11-year-old sixth grader who already stands 5-7. If the last name sounds familiar it should as he’s the son of former USC All-American quarterback and 2004 Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart. Because of his size and his arm — and, yes, his name — the younger Leinart is already drawing glances from college coaches.
Well, at least one college coach, as this Twitter exchange Tuesday evening between Kiffin and Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports/The Athletic showed.
(As ESPN.com pointed out, “the NCAA doesn’t truly recognize football players as prospects until their ninth-grade year,” so there’s that.)
Leinart played at USC from 2001-2005. One of the offensive assistants on Pete Carroll‘s staff during that time? Kiffin, who served as tight ends and wide receivers coach the first four years before being elevated to offensive coordinator for Leinart’s final season with the Trojans.
Cole Leinart is on pace to be a recruit in the Class of 2023. Raise your hand if you believe Kiffin will be the head coach of the Owls seven years from now… and then put ’em right back down as y’all are liars.
What really remains to be seen is whether Kiffin and whatever Power Five program he’s heading in 2023 will have an interest in one of his former player’s sons.