On the other hand, we don't know of any other seventh-graders are described as "a junior Peyton Manning"...
David Sills V may be the face of the future in high school football. By the time he’s a senior, Sills "probably will be the most celebrated high school recruit in history," according to Dreammaker director Steve Clarkson, a national expert who trains young quarterbacks and also runs the Super 7 Quarterback Camp in Maui, Hawaii.
Sills, a 5-foot-11, 135-pound quarterback, is the triggerman for the suburban Wilmington (Del.) Red Lion Christian Academy Middle School team, which traveled across the country last week to take on a pair of California opponents.
On Thursday, Red Lion defeated West Hills Chaminade Junior High, 39-6, as Sills completed 14-of-27 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns. Two other passes were dropped in the end zone.
Clarkson, who has been working with Sills since he was 10, scouted the game and said, "He looked like a junior Peyton Manning. A local high school coach said, ‘That kid is unbelievable.’ Even the referees were amazed. The other team sort of gravitated to him like a rock star."
Two days later, Red Lion routed the Harvard-Westlake eighth-grade team, 60-20. Sills fired five touchdown passes and ran for one in the first half. If the score was too lopsided, local rules enabled the hosts to choose five opposing players who could not participate in the second half (until the deficit reached 14 points), so Sills sat out the remainder of the game.
The first time Clarkson worked with Sills as a 10-year-old, he confessed, "I thought he should not be out there. The second workout I said, ‘Wow, what do we have here?’ Everything I gave him the day before, we didn’t have to go back over. He was ready for the advancement. He’s way beyond his years. He’s able to break down NFL cutups (of film). That’s probably for college-age."
Sills has worked out with such superstars as Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame) and Matt Barkley (Southern California). "They understand the kid, and that they were him (at one time)," Clarkson said. "He’s so accurate and has a razor-sharp release. He has a great feel for the game. He can make all the great throws. He can make adjustments at midstream, and mentally he is just off the charts."
The youthful star, who is projected to reach 6-foot-3, finished the year with 38 touchdown passes with just four interceptions during a 9-1 campaign. Red Lion’s only loss was at Montgomery Bell Academy Middle School (Nashville, Tenn.).
Sills is coached by his father, David Sills IV, who explained that because Delaware is such a small state, he wanted to get his players more exposure. He said the trip was funded by a "very aggressive booster club. We also got good rates on the flight and hotel."