LSU fans found a reason to already be excited about the 2018 season this past weekend.
In a unique case of ultra-early recruiting, Les Miles and company picked up a verbal commitment from eighth-grade quarterback Zadock Dinkelmann, a 14-year-old phenom with family ties to the Heisman Trophy legacy, according to 247 Sports' Sonny Shipp.
The Somerset, Texas, standout still hasn't played a down at the varsity level, yet his skills are apparently intriguing enough to warrant a future opportunity in the SEC. Standing at 6'3", 180 lbs, Dinkelmann's physical dimensions are undoubtedly ahead of the curve for his age group.
"LSU is a top program, and Zadock has liked LSU for a long time," his father, Johan Dinkelmann, told ESPN.com reporter Jeremy Crabtree. "What kid at his age with dreams and aspirations wouldn't commit to a program like that? It's a tremendous opportunity."
He also comes equipped with impressive football DNA. Dinkelmann is the nephew of former BYU star quarterback Ty Detmer, who claimed the Heisman Trophy in 1990.
Detmer was a 2012 College Football Hall of Fame inductee. He wrapped up his career as a Cougar holding all-time NCAA records for passing yards, completions and touchdown passes.
His younger brother, Koy, starred at quarterback for Colorado. Both Detmers played multiple seasons in the NFL.
It seems Dinkelmann is next in line to enter the family business. His early commitment to the Tigers created national attention.
“We all think it’s a little crazy but we’re excited for him,” Ty Detmer told Baton Rouge Advocate reporter Ross Dellenger. "He’s put together pretty good. Very athletic. ... People see him throw and think he’s a high school kid."
When Dinkelmann takes the step to high school football, another member of the Detmer family will be waiting for him. Grandfather Sonny Detmer, Ty and Koy's father, is the head coach at Somerset.
Koy's son, Koy Jr., is currently the starting quarterback at Somerset, according to the Advocate.
LSU has shown its willingness to jump into the recruiting process early under Miles. Dylan Moses, arguably the top freshman prospect in the nation, verbally committed to LSU last September.
There are few certainties in place at LSU for 2018 and beyond. Les Miles is bound to receive lucrative offers from other universities, and turnover with the school's assistant coaching positions will continue.
It's also difficult to determine how Dinkelmann will progress in high school. Injuries can occur at any time and alter the course of a student-athlete. So can growth spurts.
If he continues to progress as a legitimate top-tier quarterback prospect, other schools will undoubtedly enter the equation. Would Dinkelmann really be willing to shut down his recruitment for four years and turn down invitations to visit a variety of campuses?
These are the questions that arise in an era of recruiting that features eighth-grade commits. LSU has been at the forefront of an effort to target younger players, but will the majority of FBS squads jump on the bandwagon before seeing how things turn out for Miles?
Some will argue that if a player warrants a scholarship offer, then there's no sense in waiting.
How do you feel about an eighth-grader committing to play college football?
247 Sports' Shipp reports offensive coordinator Cam Cameron is enamored by Dinkelmann's potential as a quarterback prospect, writing: "Sources on the LSU side say that Cameron has never seen an eighth grade quarterback with Dinkelmann's physical tools at this stage of his development."
Nearly four years shy of national signing day 2018, LSU has landed a promising passer with serious college football pedigree. A lot can happen during that span, but consider it another interesting and slightly controversial development in the recruiting spectrum.