Maryland lacrosse lands 'earliest boys commit ever' — an eighth-grader

How early is too early? Maryland men's lacrosse lands commitment from eighth-grade recruit.

Next month, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors could approve a rule change that would prohibit contact between college coaches and recruits before Sept. 1 of their junior year in high school. The legislation would take effect as early as August.

Which puts Eric Spanos and John Tillman's relationship in a potentially awkard place. Even in a sport in which commitments by high school freshmen and sophomores are common, their union made news last week.

Recruiting Rundown's Ty Xanders reported Tuesday that Spanos had committed to Tillman and the Maryland men's lacrosse program. Spanos is an attackman at Malvern Prep (Pa.). He is in the school's Class of 2021. He is an eighth-grader.

The internet was unforgiving. Even a President Donald Trump parody chimed in.

Coaches are not allowed to comment publicly on unsigned recruits, but some have come forward in support of more regulated recruiting.

Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala, who accepted a commitment from a rising high school freshman last summer, has said the legislation would put coaches "in a position where they can have more information, everybody can take a deep breath, and these younger guys will have a chance to develop and grow and blossom a bit more, and we as coaches will have more of an opportunity to evaluate."

First-year Virginia coach Lars Tiffany will not even recruit freshmen.

"I don't relish recruiting from other college programs that already have commitments," Tiffany told US Lacrosse magazine this month. "I'm just trying to do my job the best way that I can. Not only does the philosophy of not making 14- and 15-year-olds make commitments feel right, it feels right competitively."

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