8th-Grader Dylan Moses Faces Unwarranted Pressure Due to Accelerated Recruitment
Dylan Moses is only 14 years old and hasn't even hit a high school campus. Most kids his age are worried about who they'll take to the dance and whether or not they are adhering to the latest fashions.
Moses, on the other hand, is being recruited by no less than eight major college football programs, per 247Sports.com: LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss, Florida, Florida State, UCLA, Nebraska and Texas.
Moses' father, Edward, tweeted the latest news that Mack Brown and the University of Texas have offered his son:
The Texas Longhorns offered Dylan today...— Edward Moses Jr (@jrevonte) May 8, 2013
As if young athletes these days didn't have enough on their plates.
There's no doubt that Moses is a bright and shining star as a middle school football player. He has already attended LSU football camps, according to Scott Rabalais of the Baton Rouge Advocate. He was clocked running a 4.46-second 40-yard dash and posted a vertical leap of 34 inches for the LSU coaching staff.
He's far and away a superior athlete compared to his peers, and he has the talent to become the No. 1 recruit in the nation, according to Alabama head coach Nick Saban (via Rabalais' report).
That said, Moses shouldn't be subject to this kind of pressure this early in his life.
In fact, it's not too outrageous to suggest rules should be in place forbidding college programs from hounding children like this.
Let the young man experience what it means to be a young man.
At this point, though, the damage is already done.
His future high school football coach worries about the incredible expectations, per Rabalais :
A lack of exposure certainly won’t be his problem...Every time he goes out there, people are going to expect to see this LSU football player when he’s a freshman in high school. It puts a lot of expectations on him. But, obviously, it’s a great honor to have schools like (LSU and Alabama) interested in you.
Honor aside, Moses will never have a normal childhood, and the pressure on him to succeed as a football player is outrageous and unfair.
What will happen to him if for some reason he isn't able to perform at the same high level in college?
It's hard enough for young athletes playing college and professional sports, but most of them don't have offers from eight major programs in the eighth grade.
What if Moses discovers a passion for something other than football in the next few years?
Should college programs be allowed to target kids in middle school?
He'll be subject to intense pressure, whether it's vocalized or not, to follow through with his football career.
Young athletes need more protection from greedy college programs, as putting this kind of unreasonable pressure on a 14-year-old athlete is unconscionable.
This is a time of Moses' life when he needs to be free to discover who he is, what his dreams really are and how he wants to pursue them.
At this point, his future is being mapped out for him, and it's not fair.
Let kids be kids.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
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