ACC coaches talk youth and recruiting

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has the solution for anyone wondering what the age limit should be on recruiting.

“I think they should be driving,” Swinney said at ACC media days.

He's not the only one.

Age has become a hot topic recently after LSU reportedly offered a 14-year-old recruit a scholarship. Fourteen. As in, not quite yet in the eighth grade (that, apparently, is also the starting point for Washington’s recruiting staff). Swinney said he and his staff take pride in being the first school to offer a player, but that he’s a little uncomfortable offering sophomores.

“They’ve got to be special,” he said. “The reason I’m a little uncomfortable with that is because they still have two years of good decision-making to make, and developing, and maturing, and being quality players. But that’s just the world we live in right now. But I am confident in our evaluations and how we go about the process. We’re the first to offer a lot of guys. It’s easy to offer a guy who’s got a bunch of offers. It takes a little more conviction to be the first.”

LSU took that philosophy to a whole new level. Even if Dylan Moses wanted to commit on the spot, he can’t actually sign for another five years -- you know, when he can finally drive.

Maryland coach Randy Edsall said recruiting young players is a “bone of contention” with him.

“We’re on a slippery slope with recruiting, and unless we change it, we’re going to continue to have bigger issues that we don’t really want to get involved with,” Edsall said. “We’ve offered a kid who’s going to be a freshman in high school. Do I like doing it? No, I don’t. But everybody else is doing it. It just doesn’t make sense to me because you have new rules that are going to go into effect where you’ve got to have a 2.3 (GPA) and 1020 (SAT) in order to be eligible. We don’t know until the end of that kid’s junior year if he’s even going to be on track to do that."

Edsall was just getting warmed up.

"The NCAA talks about education and APR? And all this stuff?" he said. "And then they’re allowing us to go and recruit kids and then thinking about making this the wild wild west where you can text a kid as much as you want? I mean, what are we doing? There’s no wonder kids who are 12, 13, who think they’re entitled. We’re creating part of the problem. I just don’t get it. Where is the leadership coming from in terms of allowing open season on all these kids who aren’t mature enough to be able to handle all this recruiting?”

I’ll tell you where it’s not: LSU and Washington.