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For Moses, it's youth and recruiting

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ESPN The Mag: Dylan Moses (4:55)

After the summer, Dylan Moses will begin ninth grade at University Lab (Baton Rouge, La.) and will play high school football for the first time. He'll do so holding at least eight scholarship offers. (4:55)

BATON ROUGE, La. -- My daughter turns 7 in a couple weeks. She plays sports: soccer, volleyball, T-ball. She swims. I have no idea if she'll be good at any of it in 10 years. For now, I don't care.

I thought of this last week as I met Dylan Moses at his University Lab High School on the LSU campus, the morning of the Tigers' victory over Kent State a few blocks away.

Dylan is 15, a freshman. Class of 2017. He's an LSU fan. He plays on a team with Les Miles' son Manny, the quarterback at University High, and Tiger commits Nicholas Brossette, a running back in the 2015 class, and offensive guard Garrett Brumfield, 102nd in the ESPN 300 for the Class of 2014.

Dylan is more well-known than any of them.

I first saw him in April at a Nike camp in Memphis. At the time, he was something of a marvel, two months after Alabama offered him a scholarship as an eighth-grade student. Really, the Crimson Tide didn't offer a scholarship; that can't happen for nearly another two years. But Nick Saban said they would do it, so that's definitely exciting.

Over the summer, Dylan went from marvel to phenomenon, wowing coaches at camps with his superior athleticism packed on a 6-foot-1, 213-pound frame. He piled up 11 so-called offers from the likes of Florida, Florida State, Nebraska, Texas and UCLA.

Hometown LSU made the same kind of offer in June 2012, 15 months before he played his first high school game (he made it through one quarter at linebacker against Lafayette (La.) Teurlings Catholic before hyperextending his knee).

He became the face of this trend in recruiting to rush to judgment over middle-school prospects. Dylan appeared on the cover of ESPN The Magazine for its "Kids in Sports" issue.

Anyway, as his dad, Edward Moses, recounted the story of how all of this happened -- how he directed Dylan through grueling workouts at a park a few miles north of campus, every day in the summers since Dylan was 7 -- I couldn't shake the image of my daughter.

Placed in such context, Dylan's progression to this spot appeared even more unimaginable.

And it raised a question: What happens now? What happens now that he's a backup running back and a linebacker with great skill but an understanding of technique and defensive concepts akin to most high school freshmen? Now that he's a role player who happens to know Miles and Saban and Hugh Freeze at Ole Miss, what happens when he has to sit in class all day and practice under the Louisiana sun?

After our short visit following his rehab regimen and treatment session in an attempt to return to the field Friday night against Lake Charles (La.) LaGrange., I know this: Moses is just a kid. He talks about how Brossette treats him like a "big brother," engaging in long conversations with Moses if University High coach Chad Mahaffey has to get critical of the kid in practice.

"Everybody is bigger and faster," Moses said of the adjustment from middle school.

Kevin Van Valkenburg's ESPN The Magazine article on Moses suggested that if Michael Phelps can swim in the Olympics and accept an endorsement at this age, then Moses ought to be OK to deal with some early recruiting interest.

Difference is, Phelps didn't have to face a locker room full of teammates each day.

By all accounts, though, Moses has handled it smoothly.

"I haven't seen a lack of willingness out of Dylan to be a part of the team or a lack of effort to get better," Mahaffey said. "It hasn't affected his preparation or anything like that.

"He stands out physically as a young kid. But in a competitive situation, there are kids who can tackle you, kids who can block you a lot better than before. We didn't do anything different with Dylan than anybody else. He's not treated any differently.

"It's hard to tell what's going to transpire, because we haven't had a full game yet to work with him."

Mahaffey was a good sport in discussing Dylan, but it was easy to detect his hesitation to add to the hype machine that has advanced further already than for any player of Dylan's age.

"Physically, he looks like an adult," Mahaffey said. "But his maturity level and everything else, he's just a kid."

Mahaffey stays out of the recruiting process -- if you want to call it that. The college coaches don't bother Dylan; they can't call him for a couple years. Still, there are additional ways to connect, but other than a few brushes with Miles, who works down the street and notices Dylan when the coach watches his son, things are quiet.

Edward Moses said he and Dylan hoped to travel this year for unofficial visits to see LSU play at Georgia and Alabama. Nice way to see their Tigers on the road.

On the so-called offers, Edward Moses said, they're just "goals."

"You have your goals," the elder Moses said, "but put them on the side and focus on this team. He's accepted his role, and the team has accepted him."

Mahaffey said he worries mainly about the expectations on Dylan and how he'll respond to inevitable critics.

For his part, Dylan said he's OK.

"I do my best every time I go on the field," Moses said. "I'm not trying to be Superman. I know everybody's watching, but it doesn't really affect me."

Lot of pressure for a kid.