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Alabama offers scholarship to eighth-grade LB Jesus Machado

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Add Jesus Machado to the very short list of football prospects good enough to garner scholarship offers before they've even set foot in high school.

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Machado, an eighth-grader from Hialeah (Fla.) Champagnat Catholic, has drawn an offer from the University of Alabama, according to ESPN. He's also been offered by Iowa State, Michigan State, West Virginia and North Carolina State, but when the defending national champions and the school that commonly lands the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation extends an offer, it gets a little more attention.

Machado begins his freshman year this fall, which would make him part of the 2020 signing class of whichever school he ultimately chooses.

According to Machado's profile at 247sports.com, he was recruited by Alabama assistant coach Mario Cristobal. The Tide's offensive line coach handles Miami-area recruiting for Alabama as a former Miami Hurricanes player and assistant coach, and the former head coach at Florida International. The profile lists Machado as an outside linebacker at 6-foot, 195 pounds.

College coaches have taken their scholarship offers to younger prospects over the years, in an effort to beat the competition by getting an earlier start on building a relationship. The proliferation of summer camps has allowed for better evaluations and less need for extensive high-school game film.

Still, offers at Machado's age are highly unusual.

Running back Dylan Moses drew similar attention in 2013 when he drew a lengthy list of scholarship offers before beginning his high school career at University High in Baton Rouge, La. Moses committed to LSU that year, but later reopened his recruitment.

So what does a future college football player look like as an eighth-grader? Machado's highlights, of course, are impressive.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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