The constant college football recruiting race knows only the bounds the NCAA places on it, and the association says nothing about how old a potential player must be to get attention from coaches. In fact, recruiting megawebsite Rivals.com now has profiles on players in the sixth grade!
New Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt is on a mission to make the team the recruiting giant it once was, and in his latest effort, he's offered a scholarship to an eighth-grader. The kid hasn't even started high school yet, and already he has a college offer.
Of course, Harrison Bailey isn't your average tween. He already stands six feet three inches tall.
Bailey lives in Powder Springs, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb that isn't far from Richt's old stomping grounds at the University of Georgia. He'll play high-school ball at Hillgrove High School and wouldn't start college until 2020. Writers covering youth football (which, yes, is a job that exists) have been extolling Bailey as a possible future college star since 2014. Bailey already even has his own highlight reel. Actually, he got his first highlight reel uploaded to YouTube when he was only 5 years old.
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“Yesterday was the first time I ever met [Coach Richt]," Bailey told Youth1. "The offer came around 6 o’clock, but we probably talked from 3 o’clock to around 8 o’clock.”
“He said we usually don’t offer young bucks like you, but you’re talented and we think you can handle it. We don’t think you’ll get a big head, and we want to offer you a scholarship,” Bailey said.
However, recruits aren't actually allowed to make official visits to schools until their senior year of high school, and their commitments don't become official until National Signing Day. A lot could happen between now and 2020.