Nathan Tilford’s Locked Up For 2017, But Pop Warner Scene Is Next On Lane Kiffin’s Recruiting Trail

Back when I was a high school senior, I used to wonder if high school freshman were getting younger every year, or if my perspective had just changed. Nowadays, I wonder if USC football players ponder the same thing about the recruits visiting their campus. To answer their questions: yes, they are getting younger. Four years ago, Kiffin offered a scholarship to 13-year-old David Sills, and while Kiffin was Tennessee head coach, he offered one to Eric Berry's younger brother, Evan Berry, before his 14th birthday.

Over the weekend, Kiffin extended a similar offer to 13-year-old wideout Nathan Tilford. Tilford is physically ahead of the curve at 6´2, 190 pounds, but don't bank on TIlford playing for Kiffin. He won't be on campus for another four years, meanwhile, Kiffin's job security hinges on this season's performance. Like many of the athletes he recruits, Lane Kiffin was a kid wonder. Unfortunately, he hasn't panned out in any of his three head-coaching stops thus far. If anyone should know better than to offer scholarships to athletes prematurely, it's Kiffin. 

As Shadow League editor James Carr pointed out last week, there is evidence indicating that gauging talent solely on physical maturity is a set up for failure. I wish the best of luck to Tilford from the ninth grade on, but unfortunately, many of these athletes won't fulfill their potential. Either way, you can't knock Kiffin for trying. Well, maybe a little. Hopefully, Tilford keeps his head on straight and doesn't buy into the hype.


Tilford built on that buzz Sunday by landing a scholarship offer from USC at the Trojans' skills camp, according to a source at the event.

Projected as one of the top incoming high school freshmen in Southern California, Tilford opened eyes this spring with strong performances against older athletes in the local 7-on-7 circuit.

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