Quarterback Zadock Dinkelmann, the 14-year-old nephew of former Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer, has made a non-binding oral commitment to play at LSU.
Dinkelmann, an eighth-grader at Somerset (Texas) Junior High School, won't be able to sign his national letter of intent until Feb. 7, 2018. He has yet to play a down of varsity football.
Detmer said Dinkelmann committed to the Tigers on Friday after receiving a scholarship offer from LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Dinkelmann is the son of Detmer's sister, Dee. Dinkelman's father, Johan Dinkelmann, played at Cincinnati.
"LSU is a top program, and Zadock has liked LSU for a long time," Johan Dinkelmann said. "What kid at his age with dreams and aspirations wouldn't commit to a program like that? It's a tremendous opportunity. It was an opportunity that we, as his parents, wouldn't let him pass up if that's what he wanted."
Dinkelmann will play at Somerset for his grandfather, Sonny Detmer, a Texas high school coaching legend and Ty's father. Koy Detmer, Sonny's other son, is an assistant for the Bulldogs.
"We're really excited for him," said Ty Detmer, who coaches at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Austin.
LSU made national headlines in 2012 when it offered a scholarship to Dylan Moses the summer before his eighth-grade year at Baton Rouge (La.) University High. Moses, a member of the class of 2017, committed to the Tigers early in his freshman season, but Dinkelmann's commitment is believed to be the earliest known pledge for LSU.
It's the earliest known commitment in college football since 13-year-old David Sills committed to USC in 2010.
Dinkelmann, 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, might not see the field much as a freshman at Somerset because Koy Detmer Jr. is the returning starter and one of the top quarterbacks in Texas. His main focus as a freshman will be leading the freshman team, his father said. However, Cameron told Dinkelmann and his family he saw enough on his junior high tape to know he's one of the best quarterbacks in the country already.
"Obviously, Zadock has been blessed with some physical talent," his father said. "He's big. He's tall. He's got a good arm. The fact that he has grown up in a football family where everybody he knows has either played college football, college basketball or has coached helps tremendously. It's not really an expectation because of his family, it's a given that he's going to go play college football somewhere for somebody at some time.
"He's going to continue to work hard, and his main focus now is leading the freshman football team. God willing, he stays healthy and continues to improve, and he'll get to live out his dream of playing for LSU, the school he loves."