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July 17, 2014

Mature beyond his years



When Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian Academy traveled to Morgantown for the 7-on-7 tournament in June, head coach Dwayne Thomas was the only coach that made the trip to lead his primary squad. In large part because he already had all he needed in regards to an offensive coach already on the field in his quarterback David Sills.

Sills, 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, has always been mature beyond his years being named a team captain when he was only a freshman and that has only spilled over as he has continued to grow on and off the field.

"He leads our team. He is the offensive coach. He knows all the positions and what's expected of them, he leads our off season workouts and training programs and he commands the respect of his peers," Thomas said. "Because he works so hard and is a tremendous leader they don't mind following him."

The Rivals.com four-star has had no choice but to grow up fast after being thrust into the spotlight as a middle school student when he committed to Southern California but even with all the distractions that the whirlwind of coverage created he has always remained at an even-keel.

Sills selected Southern California in large part because of his relationship with former head coach Lane Kiffin but he always understood that due to the nature of college football things can change in an instant with the moving and shaking of college coaches.

"One of the best qualities he has is he's an extremely confident individual but not cocky. He's always handled the whole thing professionally and he knew if Lane was going to leave or be fired he'd have to consider some other schools," he said.

West Virginia was one of the schools that had always been on his short list not only because of how he would fit into Dana Holgorsen's offensive scheme but his connections to the program with close friends Daikiel Shorts and Wendell Smallwood already on the roster.

"Daikiel is probably David's best friend. When he comes home on the weekends he stays with the Sills family so West Virginia was always one of his priority schools," he said.

Sills traveled to several schools after opening up his recruitment in mid-June but the wheels had already been set in motion during the spring when West Virginia wide receivers coach Lonnie Galloway began his pursuit of the talented quarterback.

And while some schools were gun shy due to his commitment to the Trojans, West Virginia was active throughout the process and made themselves known in his recruitment. Prior to his stop in Morgantown he made trips to check out Alabama, Michigan and several other schools but actually eliminated several of the programs that offered him because of how the quarterback was utilized in those schools' offensive schemes.

Sills made the trip to West Virginia Monday in order to get another look at the program as well as taking his mother to see the university for the first time.

And while Thomas didn't expect his star quarterback to commit to the Mountaineers while on campus, the decision wasn't one that was made in the moment as the quarterback is an extremely calculating individual that used all of his resources to make his choice.

"Choosing West Virginia was an extremely professional and mature decision on his behalf. He considered the roster, the style of play and how it fits his tool set. And he considered the good friends he has on the roster," he said. "When you put all of that together it came up West Virginia for him."

"There were some things he wanted to hear from Dana and once he did that's what he wanted to do," he added.

Sills plans to enroll at West Virginia in January to begin his college career and he is already preparing to enter the program ready to work and compete for the starting job. Thomas plans to install a majority of the West Virginia offense into his playbook this fall in order to help prepare Sills for the next level.

"He's never been a backup and he doesn't know how to approach the game in a backup perspective," Thomas said. "He'll be prepared for the spring."

While the consensus belief is that Sills is a statuesque pro-style quarterback, Thomas said that he is actually one of the best athletes on the Eastern Christian Academy roster posting a 4.4 time in the 40-yard dash as well as boasting some of the best high and board jumps on the team.

His coach actually compares his skill set to that of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

"He's a tremendously gifted athlete. I think a lot of people don't know that until they go out and see him play," Thomas said.

Sills is the 14th commitment in the class of 2015 and the second quarterback joining Skillman (N.J.) Montgomery signal-caller Chris Chugunov.

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