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11-year-old is youngest ever to throw TD pass in a varsity high school game (video)

Aug 23, 2012, 1:25 PM EDT


So what do you do if you’re a varsity high school football coach, and your only viable quarterback goes out of the game with an injury? You turn to your middle school quarterback, of course. Who cares if he’s only a sixth grader? Get in there, Lucas.

Actually his name is Andrew Robison, whom I’m assuming is 11 years old (the typical age for sixth graders). And all he did on his first play from scrimmage for Franklin Christian Academy (Tenn.) is chuck a 63-yard scoring pass to a junior wide receiver. This makes him, unofficially, the youngest player ever to throw a touchdown pass in a varsity high school game.

What coach in his right mind would let an 11-year-old play in a varsity game? Andrew’s father, Drew Robison, is Franklin’s head football coach and athletic director. Andrew, the starting QB for Franklin’s middle school team, was inserted into the game when their varsity QB went down with cramps in their game against McClain Christian Academy.

Robison is listed as 5-foot-1, 100 pounds on the Franklin roster. It’s not uncommon for Franklin to use middle school players on occasion to fill out its varsity roster, due to the school’s small enrollment.

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) actually has a rule prohibiting anyone who is not in the ninth grade or above from playing varsity sports. But since Franklin is not a member of the TSSAA, it’s not bound by that rule.


Drew Robison:

“I called a slant and put him in the shotgun. I was really concerned, to be honest,” he said.

The younger Robison had a quick release and Thon did the rest, streaking toward the end zone for the long score.

The first person to greet him was Andrew Robison.

“After he threw that pass, he was just sprinting. He was going crazy,” Drew Robison said. “His reaction was a lot like Terrell Owens after he caught the post from Steve Young.”

H/T SportsGrid.

5-foot-1, 100-pound sixth grader throws varsity touchdown pass [MaxPreps]

  1. genericcommenter - Aug 23, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    He’s probably 11 ( normal age for his grade), but if you read enough of these “under-age varsity” stories you will see 14 and 15 year old 7th graders. Plus you see plenty of 19 year-old freshman college athletes and 20 year-old baseball players being drafted out of high school.

    A site that was linked from one of the stories about this 6th grader was making a big deal about a 14 year-old 7th grade basketball player coming off the bench for his varsity, even though he is of normal high school age. I knew plenty of 9th-graders who played varsity sports when the were the normal age of 14. There is nothing impressive about 15 year old 8th graders- either they failed two grades, failed a grade plus have a late birthday, or their parents held them back on purpose to inflate their athletic achievements with no concern about their other development.

    • t16rich - Aug 23, 2012 at 5:47 PM

      I’ve seen a documentary where a few football seniors were happy they didn’t graduate so they could return for another year of varsity football.

      • florida727 - Aug 24, 2012 at 7:53 AM

        Even worse… I know a family here in Florida where the parents, the dad mostly, held their kid back intentionally just so he could play another year of middle school basketball before going on to high school. Parents living vicariously through their kids gone amuck. Fortunately, and I say this because ethically and morally I think it’s wrong, his kid sucked at basketball, and another year wasn’t going to make him the second coming of LeBron. The worst part: the kid hated it. All his friends moved on and he got held back. The kid is destined to have mental issues down the road with parents like that. All so his dad could brag about his kid’s basketball ability. Should have spent the time and money on a personal coach instead. Serves him right, the dad, not the kid obviously.

        • t16rich - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:50 AM

          That just doesn’t help. Playing against the best will only make you better. As a former hockey player, I can’t stress how many little super stars I played with in Canada. A LOT. Their parents think they will be NHL stars because they put up a 100 points when they are 10 years old. It just doesn’t happen like that. They eventually face the next level of talent, and when the struggles come, so does the frustration leading to them losing focus and being pissed that the game don’t go their way. If you are making it easy on an athlete, then they will always be stuck in neutral and never develop their game. I hate hearing about these stories too. Child services will never care about the aggressive sports dad who is screwing up his kids life by forcing athletic development and neglecting human development. Knowledge and character before jump shots, parents.

    • jon623 - Aug 28, 2012 at 1:07 AM

      I agree with you, but that’s not what this article is about. This has nothing to do with kids that are too old for their grade; this is about a regularly aged kid in 6th grade coming in as a backup QB for a high school varsity game. Could the kid be 14? Possibly. But since this kid is the son of the high school coach, odds are people know him and would know if he is really a “normal” 6th grader.

  2. ramitbaby - Aug 24, 2012 at 7:01 AM

    Could be a popular waiver wire pickup this week in scholastic fantasy leagues. Any injury update on the starter?