Nick Saban’s done it.

Les Miles, Gus Malzahn and Steve Spurrier too.

Heck, if Jadeveon Clowney were eligible to play in the SEC as a middle school phenom, there’s a few coaches who may have found a spot for him on special teams.

The recruiting landscape has vastly changed since the turn of the century when coaching staffs began to build scouting reports on players as early as junior high. Several eighth graders across the country have received FBS offers in recent years, a disturbing new phenomenon that’s unfortunately not leaving the game any time soon.

To convince the best that your program’s the right fit, you’ve got to get to them early, sometimes just after puberty.

A few of the recent future stars include …

Dylan Moses, OLB, Class of 2017

How does Saban consistently pull in the SEC’s top-ranked recruiting class year after year? He puts a bug in the ear of the nation’s best players, even eighth graders who have no idea how the next four years will unfold leading up to National Signing Day as prep seniors. “They treated him like a five-star recruit,” Edward Moses, Dylan’s father, told in reference to Alabama’s Junior Day visit in Feb. 2013. “Coach Saban said the Alabama staff believes Dylan has a chance to be the best player in the country in the Class of 2017 and they were ready to offer him a scholarship. That’s when the fireworks started going off in our heads.” Saban was right. According to 247Sports’ 2017 composite, Moses is a five-star recruit and considered the top player — at any position — in the 2017 class.

For the record, LSU offered the ESPN The Magazine coverboy a full year before the Crimson Tide after the Tigers’ coaching staff saw his talents on display at a youth football camp as a seventh grader. Sometimes the blue chippers with a next-level skill set are easy to spot (see, Clowney). Moses is currently committed to LSU and has been since Sept. 22, 2013.

Owen Pappoe, OLB, Class of 2019

Eighth graders have unlimited access to social media these days and that’s how we know 14-year-old linebacker Owen Pappoe from Logansville, Ga., already has a handful of scholarship offers. Auburn reached out, as did Tennessee. In Malzahn’s defense, the kid looks like he’s a two-year starting corner in the SEC. “Every time I said I was in the eighth grade, people’s jaws dropped,” Pappoe told

Pappoe’s unofficial stats from the middle school scorebook located on the tattered wooden bench just off the sideline are frightening — 50 tackles (21 for loss) with 17 sacks and two interceptions to go along with 16 total touchdowns.

MJ Webb, DE, Class of 2017

Richt has kept it classy during his tenure between the hedges and hasn’t yet offered a middle schooler. He did make a rare meeting with a high school freshman last April however, hoping to be one of the first in line for Morgan County High’s 6-foot-5, 250-pound pass rusher MJ Webb. He’s 15-years-old with room to grow. Terrifying. “My mind was blown,” Webb told the AJC. “I couldn’t believe I finally got my first offer. I called my grandmother to tell her. She was so proud of me, and she started to cry.”

Dominick Blaylock, ATH, Class of 2019

“I was shocked that when I met the coaches, they went straight to the point with the offer. I had no words,” Blaylock told the AJC. “I didn’t know what to say. All I could say was ‘Thanks, coach.’” That coach happened to be THE Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier, whose Gamecocks became the first team to offer the eighth-grade athlete out of Atlanta and son of former NBA player Mookie Blaylock in March.