Recruiting in college football never ceases to bring surprises, controversies, and twists.
Such was the case in 2010 when Lane Kiffin verbally offered a scholarship to then 13-year-old quarterback David Sills (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy), who subsequently gave USC his verbal pledge. At the time, Sills’ father called USC his son’s “dream school”.
The recommendation to offer Sills a scholarship came at the behest of renowned quarterback coach Steve Clarkson, who has also mentored former Trojan quarterbacks, Matt Leinart and Matt Barkley.
Since the verbal commitment in February of 2010, neither side has waivered, at least not publicly. However, with the whirlwind nature that is recruiting, and the necessity to always expect the unexpected, many have wondered if USC would seriously consider other options at quarterback for the 2015 class.
Those wondering got their answer as scholarship offers were extended to Josh Rosen (Bellflower, Calif./ St. John Bosco) and Ricky Town (Ventura, Calif./ St. Bonaventure).
What makes Sills’ commitment somewhat of a delicate matter is Rosen and Town are both considered superior talents by numerous scouts.
With the depth at quarterback currently on the roster, the notion of signing three quarterbacks in 2015 appears both a long shot and excessive. Should USC sign one quarterback with the 2014 class, taking two more in 2015 may also be unnecessary.
Granted, a lot may change before the 2015 prospects are ready to sign their national letters of intent, but if Rosen and Town are still considered better prospects than Sills, what should USC do?
Though it does happen, reneging on a scholarship offer isn’t a popular decision. It would be even more unflattering for Kiffin, whose reputation is already in question. Further complicating the situation is, comparing recruits’ rankings isn’t exactly comparing apples to apples, as rankings don’t always translate to a prospect evolving into the better college player.
Therefore, USC must thoroughly scout each quarterback prospect, and hope to sign the signal caller they believe is the best option. If that means no longer honoring the offer to Sills then so be it.
In retrospect, Kiffin may realize he shouldn’t have offered Sills the scholarship in 2010 and honoring the scholarship out of obligation and not merit, would only compound the mistake.
As USC has experienced firsthand in years past, changes are sure to occur between now and National Signing Day in 2015. Until then, they must take nothing for granted with any of their targets, including Sills.
Of course, the majority of this circumstance is under the premise that Kiffin will still be the head coach in 2015, which presents its own set of issues, addressed here.