UCLA is already actively recruiting for the Class of 2017. That’s right, 2017. On Tuesday, the Bruins offered a scholarship to eighth-grade quarterback Lindell Stone, who recently finished school at Dawson Middle School in Southlake, Texas.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound signal caller — who is already being described as a “pocket passer” — is heading to high school next year at Southlake Carrol. A number of successful quarterbacks such as Greg McElroy and Chase Daniel attended the same school.
“I’m very grateful right now,” Stone said Wednesday, via ESPNLosAngeles.com. “We’re really not focused on recruiting right now. We’re more focused on getting on the field at high school and helping a team win a championship, but this is big. It’s finally showing how hard I’ve worked.”
There’s something unsettling about hearing player talk about being “focused” and college recruiting when he is two years away from being able to drive a car. In any event, Stone received a great deal of attention during the Elite 11 regional in San Francisco earlier this year where he caught the eye of coaches like Trent Dilfer.
“I think that gave me a little publicity and gave me the opportunity to show my skill set against other high school quarterbacks who are very talented,” Stone said. “It was just a great opportunity to get my name out there.”
Stone said he was excited to receive an official scholarship offer from UCLA but not shocked.
“It’s a very academically prestigious school, which is what I’m looking for in a college,” he said. “It’s also got a great football program. To have one of my top schools offer me so early, it’s an honor. It’s great to see all my hard work paying off in them giving me an opportunity.”
Like it or not, we now live in a generation where Division-1 programs start recruiting players before they even walk down the halls of a high school. We saw it with USC a few years back and two SEC powerhouse schools earlier this year. Here’s hoping Stone can secure a bright future while still enjoying his childhood.
Here are some of Stone’s highlights: