Southlake Carroll is known for producing Division I college quarterbacks, usually after deep playoff runs, often ending in state championships.
Three former Carroll quarterbacks are currently signed with an NFL teams: Chase Daniel starred at Missouri and is with the Kansas City Chiefs, Greg McElroy won an NCAA title at Alabama and plays for the New York Jets, and former SMU player Kyle Padron recently signed with the Oakland Raiders.
Now the home of the Dragons has a kid receiving offers before he’s ever played a snap in high school. Lindell Stone, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound quarterback and Carroll ISD middle school graduate, was offered a scholarship by UCLA on Tuesday, according to reports.
“I’m very grateful right now,” Stone told ESPN on Wednesday. “We’re really not focused on recruiting right now. We’re more focused on getting on the field at high school and helping a team win a championship, but this is big. It’s finally showing how hard I’ve worked.”
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Stone’s offer from the Bruins is part of a new trend of BCS schools showing interest in junior high players. USC recently offered a scholarship to eighth-grader Nathan Tilford of Upton, Calif., while Alabama, LSU and Texas have all offered eighth-grader Dylan Moses of University Lab in Baton Rouge, La. Also, Kentucky just offered 13-year-old seventh-grader Jairus Brents of New Albany, Ind., after he attended a camp at the school last weekend.
Kenny Hill, who quarterbacked Carroll’s UIL-record-tying eighth state championship in 2011 as a junior and won AP Texas Player of the Year as a senior, is already settling in at Texas A&M, where he will play both football and baseball. Hill said Thursday he was surprised to hear about Stone’s offer, but he’s seen him play a couple times and added Stone is a smart player with a strong arm.
“It’s crazy to me just because he hasn’t played against varsity competition yet. I mean I think that’s crazy, but good for him,” Hill said. “I know he works hard. He goes to a bunch of camps trying to get better.”
Hill was one of the most heavily recruited players of the 2013 class in Texas and experienced the ups and downs of recruiting all the way to Signing Day last February. He said he sees a big difference in the way younger kids are being recruited now from when he was coming up.
“I went to a couple of camps in the summer when I was in junior high, when I wasn’t playing baseball but other than that I didn’t really do too many camps,” Hill said. “It’s crazy now how many camps they have out there for kids to get better, kids to get looked at and stuff like that.”
Padron has met Stone, and recently posted a comment on his Twitter account: “threw with him few a weeks back.. the kid can play!”
Carroll school district officials and Carroll head football coach Hal Wasson declined comment for this story.