Last week, recruiting website Rivals.com announced it has begun actively monitoring its first two sixth grade college football prospects ever: Class of 2021 running back Tyson Thornton and quarterback Daron Bryden.
"I think it is ridiculous and hurtful to rank or even have sixth-graders on a recruiting site," Edsall told the Post in an email. "Secondly, it is troubling that people are targeting sixth-graders now to increase their subscriptions to these sites and are taking advantage of young people and their parents."
Thornton and Bryden both now have recruiting profiles on the site, but Rivals national analyst Mike Farrell told SB Nation the site has "no plans to rank players that young."
Edsall said he believes the growing trend of offering scholarships to players before they reach high school is an issue in itself that monitoring sixth graders only makes worse.
"I see big issues with that trend, and I hate to say that we have offered kids early," Edsall said. "I don’t like to do it, but because of the nature of the business that in we are in it, it makes colleges and coaches do those things. This is why we need to put a stop to all this silliness that has taken place with early offering and evaluating sixth-graders. It is really not fair to the student-athletes."
Rivals does not currently have any Class of 2020 players in its database. There are 15 eighth graders from the Class of 2019 in it.
- Molly Geary