Athletic Recruits: How Young is Too Young? - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Athletic Recruits: How Young is Too Young?

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He's only 14 years old, but a Baton Rouge, Louisiana 8th grader is capturing the attention of some of the top football programs in the country. Dylan Moses is his name, and he's like a man among boys as he competes against other 8th graders.

The University of Alabama, which is among the best college football programs in the country, recently made the bold move of offering a full-ride scholarship to Moses, who won't graduate from high school until 2017. But Valley News Live talked with parents and coaches locally about college recruiters going after such young kids.

Watching kids play around, not many coaches would already be thinking about recruiting, and to them 14 is surprisingly young.

Courts Plus Tennis Director Jerry Caulfield, hadn't heard of anyone that young before. "Never see that before,that's unusual and again I'm surprised they can do that but they must be knowing what they are doing I'm sure." He says. And MSUM Head Tennis Coach Oliver Summers agrees.

"There's such a big chance that between the age 14 and when they go to college, then they are going to be sick of the sport, or their going to get injured. So I mean yeah it's a big gamble." Oliver says.

But ask a parent and they say they couldn't help but be excited.

"I'd be surprised, I'd be impresses or happy for her, that she's got people coming after her at this young age." Ted Peterson a proud parent of athletes says. And to his 14 year old son, there would be mixed emotions.

"I would be shocked, but I would be really happy. And I think I'd get a lot of pressure on me to do well, but I'd be, I'd be really happy." says Riley Peterson.

Tor some coaches they admit to being stunned by young athletes, but they just keep an eye on their growing talent. "I'll kind of keep track of how they're doing and how they're playing, and as soon as they are old enough then I will be talking to them about tennis." says Oliver.

And from one coach to another they think it takes a lot of research on the athlete, or a lot of guts, to be committing to a player who wouldn't graduate for another 5 years!

"At that young of an age, I'd say that's really pretty early to put your eggs in a basket like that, that's a pretty risky move." Jerry says.

And for division two colleges like MSUM they can't imagine taking the risk, one reason is it'd be against the rules. Coaches aren't allowed to talk to athletes until their Junior year of High School. It's a bold move that Alabama is hoping was the right move.

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