Ducks offer scholarship to eighth grader, Josiah Molden.
As a youth football coach I have two prospects that are being approached by a couple of colleges. One is mine and the other kids big brother is a lineman at George Washington who will be going to the NFL 2nd round next year.
We already have enough issue with parents thinking their 8th grader is the next to go to the NFL.
We should block colleges from offering or even talking to these kids until their Jr year of HS. It’s way to much pressure for these kids, especially if they have season or career ending injuries I.e. my oldest.
It really does turn their parents into monsters, as coaches have to deal with these parents. Especially when they think their kid is the best when they are not even close.
Please let the kids play a fun game and have fun doing it.
Kids are sometimes smarter than we think - my son played one year of tackle football - 5th grade. At the end of the season I asked how he liked it, and he responded: "I look at you, I look at mom, and I'll never be 6'4", 240 lbs will I?" I responded, probably not. He responded back: I think I'll stick with soccer!
Hats off to Alex and Christin Molden. They are leading by example. Too many parents ignore their kids and don’t lead by correct example. Going to be fun watching Josiah move through life. Thanks John. Another great story.
John, I love these stories. Charlie
One of the things I appreciate about your writing is the message you communicate by way of your story. The story may be forgotten but the message “you are not what you do” will be remembered.
John, this is another great story on the humanity of sports and what is possible. Sounds like the family has it all together and can handle the deal. As you said, the recruiting of younger phenoms has been going on for a long time. I remember Bob Knight wrapping up Damon Bailey in the mid 80s for IU when we lived there at the time. It was big news, but now I assume it is and will be done more often. And any discussion about it in the PAC-12 footprint just makes me laugh given all the other current events.
Thanks for the story!
The Mouldens sound like good people. I will admit that offering eighth graders a full ride scholarship makes me a bit uneasy... for multiple reasons.
I think I enjoyed the part of the story about the parents and there philosophy on parenting more then the scholarship offer
Only downside I see in this is the many 8th grade parents who will now see this as the "standard", as opposed to the rare, rare exception. Oldcrankyguy is spot on about the ever-lurking "monster parents." They're crazy enough without using this to promote their child.
I have mixed feelings about recruitment this early but see the father's guidance, what you do isn't who you are, as what can carry young Josh safely through. Hopefully.
I grew up with Charlie Warren, all american Oregon Hall of Fame basketball player, in our neighborhood. Sports dominated our life, and Charlie dominated our sports. He was so superior to the rest of us in Basketball, football and baseball, and we all knew it. At Roosevelt Junior High the baseball diamond was oriented such that the boys gym was the left field fence. Almost never did any of us hit it as far as the wall. Charlie would hit it over the building. Same in basketball, none of us could guard him. When the rest of us were playing at University Park, Charlie would be at the outside court, rain or shine, practicing his moves against imaginary opponents by himself. For hours. I don't remember the distance, but in high school he could throw the football as far as any college quarterback.Accurately.
One of my most fun memories--When we were young businessmen in Eugene we'd play an annual "Mud Bowl." We'd have captains lead an annual "draft," choosing teammates. It was an honor to be invited to participate. We'd find the muddiest field (usually a practice field next to South Eugene) and play. What started as a fun joke, nobody taking it seriously, escalated into each team upping their level, practicing and figuring out how to surprise the other team. The last year I participated we actually borrowed Oregon Uniforms and organized cheerleaders. Word spread over the years and we'd actually attract a small crowd. A highlight for me was when Charlie threw a fifty-yard pass to me in the end zone. The defender (I think Tony Keller, stockbroker and brother of the then mayor, Gus Keller) and I went up for the ball and I came down with it--completion for the winning touchdown. The thrill for me was not so much the win but that I caught a pass from Charlie.
Kids always know who stands out in their group...
Wasn't Joey Harrington offered a scholarship like just after he was born by Len Casanova?
Brilliant take, Mr. C
“Alex Molden tells his kids: “Know who you are. Know what your passions are. Move forward. Don’t let this thing define who you are.” “
HOLY CRIPE!! LET KIDS BE KIDS!! Colleges contacting 8 th graders for any reason is rediculous and in fact damaging. There is no way Josiah, regardless of how attentive his parents may be, can grow into a young adult without some sense of unrealistic fantasy about who he is. I concede the Molden family may prevent, or mostly prevent, Josiah from creating himself probems, but it is unlikely. Less fortunate familys would not stand a chance. I agree with oldcrankydude; Not sooner than 11th grade.
ps....John, your column started with Josiah but ended with you. Your columns cannot help but reflect, at least to a degree, who you are by the topics you choose and the skill with which you write. I suspect that the majority if not the entirety of your subscribers would agree: You should be proud!
Outstanding column! Well said on life!
Great column about a great family. I have always been impressed with Alex Molden as a player and as a person.
I don't think he was offered until much later, but I know that Jonathan Stewart was on Oregon's radar while he was still in a Seattle area middle school. That worked out pretty well!
Loved your description of the Molden kids. I'm encouraged that coach Lanning is looking that far in future.