We all know how high stakes the world of college football recruiting can be with the needless pageantry, the overly hyped and choreographed segments where players announce their college choice and the ad nauseam discussion, among many, many other things. However, this latest story tops them all.

The Washington Huskies have received a commitment from QB Tate Martell, who is 14 years old and yet to start the 8th grade. Think about that for a second. It will be 5 years before he can step onto the field in a Husky uniform. Per NCAA rules, Washington cannot even offer the kid a written scholarship until September 1st of his senior year and Martell can’t even sign a letter of intent until February 1st of 2017.

This whole thing is absurd in so many ways. First of all there’s the 5 year window before he can sign and so many things could happen before then. He could change his mind and go to another school. He could even change his mind about what sport to pursue. Or he could suffer any number of injuries. Second, there’s the issue of college football teams looking to middle schools for recruits. I could understand teams looking at recruits 2 or 3 years into the future and keeping tabs on them, but going this far is ridiculous. Will they be looking at Pop Warner players next? Flag football? The increased scrutiny on younger and younger athletes cannot bode well. Neither does turning kids into sports commodities.

UPDATE: In addition, LSU has offered a scholarship to another almost-8th-grader. Next, we’ll hear about USC or Ohio State offering scholarships to 5th graders.