Football scholarship offers made to eighth graders are rare. So rare, in fact, that when they come from a Division I program, the entire recruiting ecosystem stops and takes notice. When Alabama coach Nick Saban extends an offer to an eighth grader? The recruiting world stops to get its bearings and consider a potential transformational talent.
That’s what’s happening in Florida, where a local eighth grader recently received his fifth Division I offer from the reigning national champions. Jesus Machado is a linebacker for Champagnat Catholic School in Hialeah, and he is already the consensus top prospect in the Class of 2020, essentially by default. Unlike anyone else in the class, Machado now holds offers from Michigan State, West Virginia, Iowa State and N.C. State, in addition to the offer he just received from Alabama.
ESPN’s Derek Tyson first reported the offer after he was informed of the development by Champagnat coach Dennis Marroquin.
Naturally, it’s far too early to determine where Machado will ultimately end up. In fact, it’s too early to feel confident that Machado will continue playing football in college at all. Still, his talent (he played for the Champagnat high school varsity team while still in middle school) and the undeniable interest in him makes his career a keen one to watch.
After all, who doesn’t want to watch a budding star make plays like the ones you see above?