8th grade quarterbacks drawing big-time college interest

- For middle school-aged students struggling to pick up a textbook after a long day, picking a college seems like a decision decades in the future. College football coaches, however, see things differently.

"It's puts a lot of pressure on me to do my best, but I like pressure," said 8th grade quarterback Tee Webb. "Pressure is good."

Webb will be a freshman at Cartersville High School next year, but he already has a scholarship offer from the University of Louisville. The Cardinals hope he's part of their recruiting class in 2020. Webb was one of three 8th grade quarterbacks at Sunday's MVP football camp at Lovejoy High School with Division I offers: soon-to-be Prince Avenue Christian School quarterback Max Johnson and future Hillgrove QB Harrison Bailey both have offers from Miami.

"It's just weird, getting [an offer] in 8th grade, I don't have experience in high school, don't have high school film," said Johnson.

It can be unexpected for players, but the players themselves rarely ask for it to stop. A scholarship offer at that age is an honor, and can help the school extending the offer earn a special place with an ascending player.

"Since I got my first offer, they're always going to be on my mind, always on my list," said Bailey.

Still, a scholarship offer at that age can come with pressure, as Webb said earlier. The questions from outsiders start earlier, focus from opponents, lofty expectations when the players eventually get in games.

"I think it's too early because you never know, you've still got 4 years of high school left," said Elbert County senior Mecole Hardman, a Georgia signee who says his first scholarship offer came the summer before his 9th grade year. "Anything can happen. if you offer a kid then take it away, it looks bad [on the school]. if you're good, you're good, if you get an offer, hats off to you, you only can choose one so just enjoy it."

So along with work on the field, young players enjoying rare collegiate success need to keep their egos in check; help from family members never hurts.

Webb was asked if he ever got a big head and, for instance, jokingly told his parents he was done doing chores. His response? "I don't know, I love my parents, though, and they'd probably kick me out if I ever did that."

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