Posted June 09, 2013

Eighth-grader Nathan Tilford gets USC scholarship offer, according to report

NCAAF
USC has reportedly offered a scholarship to eighth-grade wide receiver Nathan Tilford. (Harry How/Getty Images)

USC has reportedly offered a scholarship to eighth-grade wide receiver Nathan Tilford. (Harry How/Getty Images)

USC offered eighth-grade wide receiver Nathan Tilford a scholarship at the football program’s skills camp on Sunday, ESPN.com’s Blair Angulo reported.

Tilford, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound wide receiver from Upland, Calif., is projected to be one of the top incoming high-school freshmen. He attended Trojans practices earlier this spring.

“I loved seeing the practice, being up close and watching a college practice, I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Tilford told ESPN.com in March after attending practice. “I loved it.”

Tilford said that he and his family have been discussing college options, which include USC, Florida, Ohio State, Oregon and Texas.

Believe it or not, Tilford actually isn’t the first member of the Class of 2017 to receive an offer. Dylan Moses, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound running back/linebacker from Baton Rouge, La., has attracted a bevy of interest from Alabama, LSU, Texas, Florida, and others.


4 comments
susanborst
susanborst

Interesting focus on talent at USC.


hydecablecar
hydecablecar

Offering athletic scholarships to eight graders. Can there be a more succinct indictment of revenue college athletics than this? 

Even fans of the historically successful D1a programs are mortified by this, even if they're perspiring while they secretly hope they get this kid if and when he graduates from high school in 4 years. I think everyone would settle for a 20% decline in the "excitement" of college football competition if we similarly enjoyed a 100% increase in the integrity of the game -- no more recruiting, no more athletic scholarships, and intercollegiate teams composed of student athletes who just happen to be on campus pursuing degrees instead of recruited to be reality television pawns.

No one pays closer attention to his alma mater's football program in autumn than I do, and my alma mater played in 7 bowl games over the past 8 years, winning 6 of them, but I'd be willing to trade some on-field entertainment for some integrity in the game. For every Texas, Stanford or Notre Dame, there are three dozen schools running major deficits in order to provide those top-tier schools with week-in/week-out competition. It's humiliating even if it does sell beer, fast food, cell phones and pickup trucks.

Ciscos
Ciscos

Lane... Lane... Lane...  Like a parent about to scold their child, Lane is definitely one puzzle piece with pieces missing.

First Lane is offering a kid, of which he's guessing he plans to be around come 2017.  Another 7-6 season and I that's highly doubtful.  Of course that offer evaporates once Lane is fired, so in actuality it means nothing.  What's more intriguing is the offer to an 8th grader.  This is not the first time, obviously, with Florida offering Chris Leak in the 8th grade as well.  Leak turned out to be a good college QB, but on a grade scale, he ended up as a high C, low B.

Rather than focus on identifying players that "FIT" what USC needs, Lane is too busy being star crazy.  However, this off season, USC has decided to focus on its home base more instead of chasing long shots in the talent rich South (is it because UCLA has focused on the home front and nabbed several high value players? Me thinks so).  Few of those recruits leave leave Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee and the ones that do, it's a crap shoot on who pans out.  Personally I think USC would have better luck plucking talent in Texas.  Although the Longhorns pretty much have an iron fence around Texas, they haven't done much with that talent.  And given the rise of Texas A&M, and the excitement surround Texas Tech with Kliff Kingsbury coming back, there are no guarantees the Longhorns will continue to rule the nest.

Back to USC and Lane Kiffin.  I was once told Lane and Co weren't focused on local talent because they could always come later and "close the deal" because they "are" USC. I found the comment astounding to say the least.  Certainly trying to lockdown talent late in the game doesn't bode well for kids today who want to be loved up early, often and late in the season.

Also coming late to the party will grab a player here and there, but USC being USC works against itself just as much as it works for them.  They have 5-star talent that sits on the bench. Although I'm not a fan of the star rating system, lots of schools and coaching staffs put a lot of weight in those rankings, so who am I to dismiss the validity of it. lol.  Prospects see 5-star talent riding the pine and suddenly the reality of the offer kicks in, "do you want to go somewhere and play" or do you want to sit for two to three years?  Most kids want to play.  Before you wave the flag of competition, I get it. Competition is king.  However, Lane doesn't inspire that same sense of competition as Pete Carroll did.  If Pete visited a player, they knew they were going to get a righteous shot at playing early.  Lane has neither embraced that, or advocated it enthusiastically in his sales pitch either.  When he has, he's neither reassuring nor inspiring. 

Tilford should be flattered that Lane thought enough of his talent to offer him, but Tilford should let that flattery evaporate like he was breaking wind from his backside.  Should his talent continue to grow, I would encourage him to keep his options open because there are no guarantees and certainly Lane Kiffin remaining at USC isn't a bet I'd take.  2017 is a long time away. Who knows, maybe Will Muschamp will be the head coach at USC by then.


Ciscos
Ciscos

@hydecablecar what's even more "mortification" is that there's a rumor the kid is a twice hold back.