Psst, Sark, I can help with 7th graders

Dear Sark,

I got a big-time kick out of reading about your recruitment this week of 7th-grade quarterback Tate Martell of San Diego, and all the hubbub that it generated. Wow, what a total stud you got to commit to the Huskies. I saw somewhere he can throw 70 yards on the dime and is being tutored by “Someone Important.”

I’m sure his parents were thrilled when you appeared in their living room and offered Tate a scholarship to the University of Washington. I’ll bet he sprinted out the door and did a somersault into the family pool.

No success comes without some fallout, though, and I’ve been reading about some of the flack you got. Those doubters! Some were even your own team’s fans. That’s PC Seattle, for you. Let it run off you like the rain that falls from January through December.

Steve Sarkisian

Heck, even ESPN’s Ted Miller got in the act with his dig that nothing Tate does “until his junior season of high school matters.” He even speculated that your future star QB could decide to join the circus before now and 2017.

If I got to fault you, Sark, it’s with the timing of the announcement. This was the same week of the toppling of the Joe Paterno Statue and calls for NCAA football to clean up its act. I would have laid a little bit lower if I were you.

But take heart, coach. Your offer to the Next Joe Montana was a smashing publicity move. Everywhere you looked for a day or two, the headlines were there: “Middle-school quarterback commits to play at Washington,” “Huskies get 14-year-old,” “Pop Warner player picks UW,” “7th grader aims to lead UW to national title in 2021.” Heck, it even got regurgitated more than once on the sliding feed on Yahoo! News.

Miller, that dastardly ESPN writer, picked me on the PR impact, too, saying it fits with the “belief in the awesomeness of any sort of publicity.”

Tate Martell

You are awesome, coach!

You just gotta be a little bit more stealthy, improve your timing, keep things under wraps.

That’s where I come in. See I have this theory: Coaches can never tell the truth to 7th graders. How can you when they actually won’t be under your charge for another six years. This can lead to the dreaded Credibility Gap Among Elementary School Football Players and Their Parents.

But me? I don’t have that problem. I’m not a coach. I can tell them anything, and it’ll never come back to haunt you. I also can find out things by just hanging around the schools.

So here’s my offer: Hire me as your scout in Early Teen Land. As far as I can tell, no one else is doing this. I’ll create a database of all four- and five-star 5th, 6th and 7th graders. Their 40 times. Their height, weight, shoe size. Whether the NFL is their desired career choice. The name of their elementary school crush. Whether their parents have a solid marriage or not. What time they eat, drink and go to sleep. I’ll snatch files from the principal’s office with their SAT scores. If I can get samples of their DNA, I’ll do that, too.

Quietly, but surely, you can use my reports to extend offers. Before you know it, you will have an entire Recruiting Class of 2017 in tow, and way before any of your prized stars grow any peach fuzz.

And we can work together to make sure these prized 7th graders don’t announce anything — true secret commits — so the Trojans, the Sun Devils and, heaven-forbid, the Ducks don’t get on your trail and try to steal them away.

It’ll save you a lot of time in the long run.

I guarantee it.

However, since I don’t have a signed contract from you yet, and we’ve never actually met — neither of which is wise, believe me — it’s probably best we keep this situation on the loosey-goosey.

Plus, who knows where you’ll be at in, say, three or four years. The losing streak to Oregon could stretch to 11 or 12 games, and you could be back at USC under Kiffin. And I could be living in Thailand, for all I know.

If this is what you are looking for, then shoot me an email. Better yet friend me on Facebook.

Your fingerprints won’t be on anything. Promise.

It’ll be as clean as a trip through a car wash.

Plus, you won’t have to worry about attending any middle-school dances.

Most sincerely,
Steve Maher

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