12-Year-Old Golfer Brad Dalke Commits to University of Oklahoma
Last week 12-year-old rising seventh grader Brad Dalke verbally committed to play college golf at the University of Oklahoma on a full golf scholarship. According to Golfweek, Dalke is ranked number one in the 2016 class and number 514 overall in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings. Dalke's one year younger than David Sills, the 13-year-old football wunderkind from Delaware who committed earlier this year to play for Lane Kiffin at USC in 2015, making him quite possibly the youngest NCAA recruit of all time. More details below.
Here's Dalke's coaches speaking about his skill, via ESPN.com
“I know there will be criticism for the commitment, and we're fine with that,” said Kay Dalke, a high school golf coach. “But we're Sooners through and through. We love Coach Hybl and everything he's done for us.”
Last weekend at Pinehurst in North Carolina, Brad won the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship by four strokes.
“Brad's 12 in about a 16-year-old's body,” said Joey Wuertemberger, Brad's private coach. “He's legit. He can overpower courses with just his length. At Pinehurst, he was hitting his driver 30 and 40 yards past the other 12-year-olds. Brad was hitting 8, 9 [irons] and pitching wedges into holes when other kids weren't hitting the greens or had to use fairway woods.”
Dalke's told ESPN Oklahoma is the only college he's wanted to attend, even with Oklahoma State winning the NCAA championship last year. The World Wide Leader quotes him saying, “I've never even thought about Oklahoma State even though they're the best in the country. It's always been OU,” Despite his talent, Dalke's family also quite the legacy with the Sooners athletic department. According to Golfweek, his dad, Bill Dalke, was a linebacker on Oklahoma's 1975 national championship team. His mom was golfer at OU. His grandfather was on the 1947 Oklahoma basketball team that made it to NCAA national finals. ESPN reports that Dalke's grandfather helped the Sooners advance by making the game-winning shot against the University of Texas in the semifinals.
Here's what Dalke told the Dallas Daily News about his recruitment:
“Oklahoma has watched me three times,” Brad said. “When I found out they were interested in me, I figured I ought to go ahead and commit now. That's the only place I want to go. There's no way I would change my mind as long as I get a good scholarship like they've been saying.”
All things considered, we have no idea how this fell through the cracks last week, particularly because of all the attention David Stills received in February when he committed to USC. Clearly family had a lot to do with the commitment to OU (The Dallas Daily News reports his mother has been “writing to the coach for about a year”), but seventh grade is awfully young to make college decision that's going to affect the rest of your life, particularly if opportunity is knocking elsewhere. What do you think? Sound off in the comments.
Hat Tip: Frathouse Sports