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Hobbs Column: Never too young to be recruited

Last Modified: Monday, March 04, 2013 9:37 AM

By Scooter Hobbs / American Press

Like me, I’m sure you’ve been spending a lot of valuable time and resources lately fretting about where college football recruiting is heading and if it will get there in one piece.

Fortunately, I think I’ve stumbled across the answer for you.

It just jumped the shark, even a few months before more liberal recruiting regulations kick in, new rules that are exasperated hands thrown in the air while basically saying, “Just do whatever in the world you want and make sure to post it on Twitter afterward.”

Not surprisingly, LSU and Alabama are involved.

Specifically, Nick Saban and Les Miles. Here they are, joined at the hip again.

Saban made news this week when he offered Dylan Moses of Baton Rouge a scholarship to come play for him and the Crimson Tide.

Of course, Saban was a little late with the offer, but the Alabama coach is famous for closing fast in the recruiting wars, all part of the famous “process.”

The Tide will be playing catch-up because Miles got the early jump when he offered Moses an LSU scholarship all the way back last summer.

But the Tide will have plenty of time to make up ground. Other schools will surely join the fray.

You see, Dylan Moses is in the eighth grade at University Lab School. Not until next fall will he officially be attending what is more commonly known as U-High, right on the edge of the LSU campus, and ready to play his first high school game. One of his Cub teammates, by the way, will be Les Miles’ son.

He was still waiting to attend his first eighth-grade class when he got the offer from Miles for LSU, where he’d been attending summer football camps since the ripe old age of 10, which would only be four years ago.

You remember eighth grade, of course?

It’s an awkward time when most of us were just mastering the use of a fork and longing for dad to teach us how to shave.

Dylan Moses is pondering scholarship offers from two of college football’s A-list programs.

Then again, Moses is evidently no ordinary eighth-grader.

For one, at 14 years old he’s already a strapping 6-foot-1, 215 pounds. Even more eye-popping, he reportedly ran a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash at LSU’s camp way back last summer.

Those specs and numbers would look right at home on LSU’s and Alabama’s recruiting lists right now.

Miles and Saban are taking it on faith what they might look like four years from now after a few more growth spurts, perhaps with the notion that Paul Bunyan might show up on their campus.

What position he might play will be debated in the coming years, but I would guess Miles and Saban figure there will be somewhere on the field he might contribute.

You were thinking, of course, that coaches can’t legally recruit a kid until he reaches his junior year in high school.

That’s true, but the rules don’t prohibit merely offering a scholarship and it’s not considered “recruiting” when a youngster is on campus for a camp anyway. I guess it would be rude not to at least introduce yourself.

That’s where Moses was when Miles offered him last summer.

Last week he was at Alabama under Saban’s care for what was referred to as “Junior Day,” but evidently was open to a select few eighth-graders as well.

At least Saban can say he wasn’t the first and blame it on Miles.

How long before one the Manning offspring get a scholarship offer along with their first pair of booties?

As scary as this all is, as preposterous as it all sounds, as fraught with too-much-too-soon danger as it would all suggest, this test case has a chance to have a happy ending.

Young Moses comes from a stable family that just might keep his head on relatively straight while the urban legends grow and Twitter adds a wing in his honor.

His father, Edward Moses, sounded like the man for the job when interviewed by Kevin Scarbinsky on an Alabama talk radio show.

“I know how to handle the public,” said Edward Moses, a Baton Rouge attorney. “I know how to handle the media. With my sheltering him and his continued development through high school to get to college I think he’ll be fine.”

He added that he will educate his son on “how to manage himself in the public eye, and let him know that he has to be a role model, especially since he has two younger brothers.”

Did he just say two younger brothers?

How old? Do Miles and Saban know about this? Are they toddlers yet?

Surely, they will get offers soon.

They will, that is, if they don’t get invited to the NFL combine first.

• • •

Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at shobbs@americanpress.com

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