Let the record show that the five-year David Sills Trojan fever dream officially died on July 16, 2014. That’s when a young quarterback, once deemed such a can’t miss prospect that he was worthy of a scholarship offer to elite USC as a seventh grader, officially committed for the second time, to a different team. This time, a slightly-less ballyhooed David Sills is allegedly heading to West Virginia, where he will compete with another gifted quarterback without an offer from an SEC school, Montgomery High star Chris Chugunov of Skillman, N.J.
So what happened? How did the original pre-term hype prospect turn from a future at USC to Morgantown some seven months before National Signing Day? The answer, it should surprise few, has everything to do with the same reasons that offering a scholarship to a seventh grader is a foolish endeavor. Essentially, five years is a very long time to project someone’s success, be it a coach or an athlete.
In the time since Sills first committed to the Trojans, then newly-annointed USC coach Lane Kiffin is now Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin. Then can’t miss middle school quarterback David Sills is now over-hyped Eastern Christian Academy quarterback David Sills, singled out as a lanky overthrower. Neither belongs to USC anymore.
That was made official on the 16th, when Sills became the second rising senior quarterback to commit to the Mountaineers. He will be expected to compete for a starting spot on the field eventually, but certainly not as a freshman.
None of this is to indicate that Sills, who now stands at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds while competing against high school programs in nearby Maryland, is not a talented young passer. He most certainly is. Though he isn’t ranked among the top 10 pro-style quarterbacks in the Class of 2015, Sills is still a four-star quarterback in Rivals.com’s rankings. In addition to WVU, he holds scholarship offers from the likes of Michigan, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Maryland and, of course, that infamous offer from USC. That interest from major Division I programs underscores that Sills absolutely has Division I talent, even if the additional years have also added a layer of serious questions about what once was deemed to be surefire success in college.
Of course, now Sills gets the chance to prove everyone wrong. He can go out and put together a dominant senior season at Eastern Christian Academy. He can follow that up with a breakout performance in West Virginia’s spring practice or in his first season. Heck, there’s still plenty of time for him to change his mind and commit somewhere else again, maybe even USC. The difference is that now many fewer eyes will be so keenly trained on his future. That’s probably in everyone’s best interest, even if Sills has publicly declared otherwise.
“I like playing with a target on my back,” Sills told our Gannett sister publication Sports on Earth. “It makes me better and makes everyone around me better.”