Back in February, David Sills IV made headlines when the 13-year-old made an oral commitment to play quarterback at USC, staring in 2015. We caught up with David to talk about quarterbacking at USC, talking to Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin, and what life has been like as a sports celebrity...
SIKIDS.com: When you were on the phone with Coach Kiffin, what was the conversation like?
David: Well, I was so nervous to talk to Coach Kiffin. I didn’t even know what to say, I was just thinking that I was gonna mess up. But he told me he saw my film and wanted to know if I’d like to come out for a summer camp or something. And he said when he saw my film and he liked the way he threw, and he offered me a scholarship.
SIKIDS.com: Your commitment ended up being pretty big news. What has it been like since the news broke?
David: People are kind of like “hey, I kind of know that kid… he looks familiar… but I’m not sure who he is.” I get a lot of people saying “what’s up,” like they know me somehow, but they don’t know from where. I’m getting a lot of people looking at me more and wanting to be my friend more. But I’m just hanging with my football team and just hanging out with my family.
SIKIDS.com: Have you gotten any autograph requests?
David: I’ve gotten a few in the mail, but not really anything like that. They’re cool with it at my school, no one’s like “Oh let me get your autograph!” or anything like that. But I’ve had some pictures with people, saying “hey, this is history, let me get a picture with you.”
SIKIDS.com: How did you get involved with Steve Clarkson’s Dreammaker program?
David: My grandfather saw a story in the paper that Steve Clarkson was training quarterbacks – I think it was about Matt Leinart. My dad kept calling and calling and calling Steve, but Steve kept telling my dad “I don’t train anybody that young.” But my dad just kept calling him and calling him, and Steve finally said “Okay, bring him out to California and we’ll see how it goes.” So we went out for a week in the summer when I was 10, and I guess he liked my talent. We’ve been working together ever since then.
SIKIDS.com: What kind of things do you work on with Steve? What’s a typical session with him?
David: Most of it is throwing with receivers, reading defenses, high-low reads, working against different coverages, and working on the mechanics of my throw. Another session is in the film room, just studying film. And another session is just footwork. He does pretty much everything and makes me better in every way.
SIKIDS.com: Who are some of the guys you’ve gotten a chance to meet and work with?
David: I’ve thrown with [Cardinals quarterback] Matt Leinart a few times. I threw with him at a camp and met him at a private training session. This past weekend, I was with [USC starter] Matt Barkley and [Chiefs QB] Matt Cassel, just talking about what it felt like to make a commitment to USC. And [former Notre Dame QB] Jimmy Clausen and [Washington’s] Jake Locker and [Ohio State’s] Terrelle Pryor I met two years ago.
SIKIDS.com: Have you been to USC’s campus?
David: I went to the campus this past weekend, it was during junior day, and I’ve been to the campus during spring practice. And I’ve been to the bookstore many times, so I’ve been to the campus a lot.
SIKIDS.com: Have you always been a USC fan?
David: I’ve always been a USC fan because my dad’s always been a USC fan, and I just always wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps. I’ve just always liked the teams he’s liked.
SIKIDS.com: What kind of style do you play? Do you like to get out of the pocket and run or are you more of a pocket passer?
David: Pretty much both, I had a few times where I ran out of the pocket but mostly I’m just in the pocket getting rid of the ball. But I can run with it if I have to. When I was littler, I used to always run. We would just use quarterback runs all the time. But when I got to the middle school level, then we started passing more.
SIKIDS.com: How long have you been playing organized football for?
David: I’ve been playing tackle football since I was six, but I didn’t play quarterback until I was seven. We were the only team who threw the ball.
SIKIDS.com: Do you play any other sports?
David: I used to play basketball but I just play football now. And I also used to wrestle and play baseball. But I just want to focus on football now.
SIKIDS.com: Let’s say it’s 40 years from now and you’re done playing football. Is there any other job you’d like to have?
David: Not really. I’ve never really dreamed of anything else besides being an NFL quarterback. I’ve still got a few more years to figure out what I want to do after football.